Shaquille O’Neal is known as one of the strongest and powerful dunkers in the history of the NBA, as he was sure to let you know about it with his taunting. With his 7′1″ frame and 340 lbs, Shaq was a scary sight to see in the paint. Out of all the players that got dunked on or embarrassed by Shaq, the one who got it the worse was Chris Dudley.
Back in 1999, Shaq was in his psychical prime, with an incredible combination of strength and speed. In a matchup between the Lakers and the Knicks that night, Shaq delivered perhaps the most disrespectful dunk of his career.
It was a tight game in the fourth quarter, as tensions were running high. The possession before Kurt Thomas and Dennis Rodman got into it, as Thomas eventually got ejected.
Then on the next possession, Shaq got the ball on the left block while being guarded by Dudley. He just backed him down right to the rim and slammed it powerfully with two hands for his signature slam, as he shook the whole constructions of the basket while at it.
To add to insult in the continuation of the dunk Shaq just demonstrably pushed Dudley, who fell. It was just an all-around savage play.
It’s safe to say that Dudley wasn’t happy with Shaq as he got up right away and tried to throw the ball at him, but he got restrained before he could get anywhere near Shaq. He also got ejected and joined his teammate Kurt Thomas in the locker room.
Dudley, standing at 6’11” with 260 lbs, looked like the smallest person in the arena next to Shaq. But apparently, this wasn’t a coincidence, as the two centers had some bad blood from before. During a 1997 playoff series between the Lakers and the Blazers, Dudley was unhappy with the officiating complaining about the lack of offensive fouls called on Shaq.
How many offensive foul calls were called tonight? Probably none and I think you could call an offensive foul every time just about down there. It’s tough. Not to take anything away from him, he’s a tremendous player, a great player, one of the best players in the league, but it’s really tough to guard him when someone’s that big and is allowed to just lower his shoulder and go to the middle.
In game 3 of that series, Dudley committed a hard flagrant foul on Shaq, which didn’t make him popular with the Lakers organization, as they nicknamed him “Dirty Dudley.” Lakers player Eddie Jones called it a cheap shot, but Dudley tried to defend himself by saying he wasn’t trying to hurt him.
That didn’t matter to Shaq, who repaid him two years later with this memorable sequence.