Skip to main content

Shaq's 'toughest white guy' matchup averaged 27.2 PPG against him during the 94/95 NBA season

Dino-Radja-Shaquille-O'Neal

After he debunked the myth of white players not being tough during the episode of The Big Podcast, Shaquille O'Neal singled out the Hall of Famer Dino Rađa as the "toughest white guy" he went up against.

Shaq faced Rađa in 12 regular-season games and one playoff series. He ended up on the winning side 10 times - 7 in the regular season, 3 in the Playoffs - and even put up better individual numbers than a Croat who only spent four years in the NBA. But it was far from a pure dominance Shaq displayed against almost every NBA big man at the time.

Shaq averaged 30.3 PPG, 11.8 RPG, and 3.1 APG on .627 shooting from the floor in regular-season games the two played against each other. Dino averaged 21.8 PPG, 8 RPG, and 1.8 APG .541 from the field. One time Rađa made the postseason with the Celtics, he put up 15/7/2.3 against Shaq's Orlando Magic, but O'Neal's 22.5 points and 13.5 proved to be the difference-maker as he led his team to the second round of the '95 NBA Playoffs.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

However, their head to head matchups during the 94/95 regular season paint the perfect picture of why Dino Rađa was 'the toughest white guy' Shaq went up against. In five games the two played against one another, Rađa averaged 27.2 points and 9 rebounds on .566 shooting from the field.

He couldn't stop me. My third year, we had like five games against them and I averaged like 27 against Orlando. He definitely remembers that.

Dino Rađa, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network

Rađa figured out he could never match Shaq's strength and raw power, so he utilized his quickness and basketball IQ against the much bigger O'Neal. Dino made their matchup about skills, instead of letting Shaq use his physical dominance to the best of his ability.

Thus Rađa became O'Neal's toughest white guy matchup -- an accomplishment a Hall of Fame Croat is most proud of from his 4-year run in the NBA.

Kevin Durant gets into it with Twitter users who claim he tainted his legacy and destroyed the NBA

Kevin Durant gets into it with Twitter users who claim he tainted his legacy and destroyed the NBA

Durant decided to take aim at users who believe that he has ruined the NBA with his team-hopping, and that his team-hopping tendancies have ruined his legacy

Kaith Van Horn

“I think he was pretty satisfied with what he had” – Keith Van Horn could have been a great player but chose not to become one

Based on Byron Scott’s description, Keith had what it takes and he often “worked hard” during team practices and gym workouts. However, he “never went the extra mile.”

American actor Ben Stiller

“I’ll be in my mid-60s by the time this team rebuilds” - Ben Stiller on being a New York Knicks fan

Stiller summed up the experience of being a Knicks fan: “Who would want this pain? Who would want to feel that frustration?”

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

The difference between Michael Jordan's and LeBron James' diet and workout regime

Michael Jordan and LeBron James' diets are similar to each other but the way they recover and workout is different.

Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird

"Score meant very little, but a lot of talking going on, a lot of fun." - Larry Bird learned trash-talking from black men working at a local hotel

In the process, Bird developed a genuine off-the-court relationship with most of them, particularly a guy whom he called “Slim.”

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant

Brian Windhorst on Kevin Durant potentially holding out — “I can see it. That’s what we’re headed towards”

Several recent developments turned Durant's potential holdout from unlikely to very possible.