In 1999, when the Los Angeles Lakers hosted the New York Knicks for a regular-season match, no one knew what they were up for. Shaquille O’Neal chose this game to face the great Chris Dudley of the Knick. In the fourth quarter, Kobe Bryant passed the ball to Shaq in the paint, where ‘The Diesel’ decided to put 6’11, Chris Dudley, on a poster.
In response to O’Neal pushing Dudley, O’Neal said, “He just grabbed me. He was under me, and I had to get him off me.” O’Neal was fined $3,500 for the push on to Dudley.
O’Neal was recently on the Pivot Podcast with Channing Crowder, Fred Taylor & Ryan Clark. During the appearance, Shaq was asked why he did Dudley like that.
Shaq replied, “Because when I got the ball, and I’m looking, you motherf*****s aren’t doubling. I take that as a sign of disrespect. You better double triple me. I take it as a sign of disrespect.”
Some might of said Shaq was also waiting for the right moment to get Dudley back for the flagrant foul he committed on him in the playoff two years earlier.
In the 1997 playoffs between the Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers. After game three, former Lakers coach Del Harris put his players through a long film session before their next practice. Part of that film session had to do with the Chris Dudley’s foul on Shaquille O’Neal that officials ruled flagrant.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers considered it to be a dirty play.
“We definitely talked about that,” Eddie Jones said.
“I don’t know what kind of statement that is,” Harris said. “It’s a flagrant foul and flagrant means very unnecessary. He should have been thrown out of the game. That’s potentially a career ending-type foul. You can’t make that foul.
“You should have more respect for your fellow pro than to make that foul. And certainly a guy who went to Yale should have more sense.”
The future politician defended the play by saying, “I just gave him a little shove. I just wanted to make sure he didn’t make the layup.”
Adding, “I wasn’t trying to hurt him.”