This episode of Picked & Rolled is about one of the most disrespectful plays in NBA history; it’s the time Shaquille O’Neal dunked on Chris Dudley.
This edition of Picked & Rolled is hands down my favorite play in NBA history. No, it isn’t some miraculous buzzer beater or series-clinching play. The stakes weren’t even that high, nor did the game even matter all that much. However, when Laker’s center Shaquille O’Neal dunked on Knicks back up center Chris Dudley with so much force that Dudley hit the ground, it quickly became one of the most disrespectful and cringe-inspiring moments in the history of the game of basketball.
For those unfamiliar with Shaquille O’Neal, or ‘Shaq’ as he’s more often known, he’s debatably the most dominant player that the sport has ever seen. He stands over 7 feet tall and weighs well over 300 pounds, even in his prime, making him one of the most physically intimidating players ever. Add to that the fact that he was mind-blowingly athletic and could run, jump, and move like someone half his size.
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most dominant players in basketball history, and that is an undeniable fact.
Chris Dudley, on the other hand, was more or less in the league because he was almost 7 feet tall, and that’s about it.. He was not particularly mobile, or athletic, or even good, really. His skills were limited; he was a big body to toss out there and pray to whatever it is you pray to that Shaq didn’t hurt him. He looked more like a high school algebra teacher than an NBA player.
All that to say, it came as no surprise when Chris Dudley had a hard time guarding Shaq. What nobody expected, however, was the level of dominance that Shaq would impose on his poor adversary. In this particular play, not only did he dunk on him with ease, but then proceeded to thrust his hips out, in mid air, causing Dudley to tumble to the ground (the slight shove probably helped a bit too).
Rather than simply take his lump, Dudley made matters worse; way, WAY worse. While laying on the ground staring up at the arena lights, the ball, which had just been vigorously thrown through the hoop, fell into his lap. Instead of inbound it to a teammate, Dudley chased after Shaq and whipped the ball at him, getting a technical foul in the process.
So, the dude got dunked on, tossed to the ground, and then got a tech for being a poor sport about it. Poor, poor Chris Dudley.
It’s a level of embarrassment I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and hands down one of the most difficult basketball plays to watch. It’s hard not to feel bad for the guy. On the one hand, he got completely and utterly dominated to a degree not many have experienced ever before. On the other hand, what was he thinking? Did he really think he was going to stop Shaq? Did he really think he stood a chance? What, did he believe he was going to block Shaq’s dunk attempt and save the play?
C’mon, Chris Dudley; you should know better than that.
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