If you’re a fan of the NBA, then you already know that Shaquille O’Neal may be the most dominant player the game has ever seen. Shaq was not only big and strong, but he was also quick and had that perfect finesse around the rim.
shaq is a four-time nba champion, he won three titles in a row with the angels lakers and then added one more with miami heat. In addition to winning these titles, Shaq also won three Finals MVPs with the Lakers.
Before Shaq won titles with the Lakers and the Heat, he was an up-and-coming young star with the Orlando magic. this is where shaq changed the game…literally.
the nba ‘haq-proof’ their hoops
when shaquille o’neal entered the league in the 1992-93 season, fans witnessed a player like no other. The power and dominance were on full display right away, as Shaq averaged 23.4 points and 13.9 rebounds as a rookie. shaq, of course, would win the rookie of the year award.
In addition to dominating opposing crosses, Shaq also dominated the basketball goal. In the past, fans have seen some players break the backboard on dunks, such as Darryl ‘Chocolate Thunder’ Dawkins.
so yes, players have broken boards, including the shaq. but shaq also did something that no other player had done before and since. shaq knocked down the entire basketball goal.
what shaq was doing was certainly impressive, but it also became a problem for the league. Of course, the league couldn’t continue to have Shaq break up his team.
so this led the league to change the type of basketball goals they used.
“We had something new this year with (the boards) falling and breaking,” Rod Thorn, who was the competition committee chairman at the time, said in an interview. “We are going to make sure that the whole team is up to the task. Whether it was Shaquille O’Neal or someone else, with the size of these guys, it was only a matter of time. turned out to be a little bigger and stronger than most.”
the nba first made changes to the backboard materials, making them more durable. They also changed a rule that required backup basketball goals every game, in case Shaq or any other player knocked down another basketball goal.
this shows the great power that shaquille o’neal possessed in his younger years. Shaq’s power was also on display on NBA Inside Stuff, where Shaq played a friendly game against the show’s host, Ahmad Rashad.
shaq and rashad played one-on-one on the show, with shaq ripping off the rim of the goal as the backboard shattered. clearly, this hoop was not “shockproof”.
shaq would go on to change more rules in the nba from his sheer dominance. Teams used the “hack-a-shaq” strategy to slow down Shaq by sending him to the free throw line.
the nba changed the rule saying teams can’t foul players off the ball on purpose less than two minutes into the game. if teams foul a player without the ball in less than two minutes, the opposing team receives two free throws and the ball.
shaq’s dominance in the paint also led the nba to allow zone defenses to try to stop shaq. Even with these changes, Shaq was still able to win all four titles from him, proving that he was more dominant than any rule change.
The game is not the same today as it was when I played shaq. big men often stand behind the three-point line and shoot the 3-pointer. no one truly dominates the paint while punishing their opponents.
this is sad for some nba fans, especially older fans who like the more physical style of basketball. Since this style is no more, fans of that era can relive all the times Shaq punished the basketball goal in the video below. to enjoy.