Hours before the unveiling of Shaq’s statue outside of Staples Center, the NBA released a mixtape highlighting the best plays during Shaq’s time with the Lakers. If you go to the 3:05 mark, you will see the dunk many consider to be the “most disrespectful dunk ever: Shaq posterizing Chris Dudley on March 28th of 1999.
If this is your first time seeing it, you are probably thinking what’s so disrespectful about it. Since the current soft a$$ NBA frowns on fighting, they cut the dunk before Shaq shoved Dudley to the ground. The shove makes it disrespectful but it was Dudley’s reaction that made the play so memorable. After getting off the floor, the only white guy who was worse at shooting free throws than Shaq, picked up the basketball and threw it at Shaq.
Dudley was tossed for his toss and got to join teammate Kurt Thomas in the showers since Thomas was ejected earlier in the game for fighting with Dennis Rodman.
“I didn’t think I should be ejected.” Said Dudley, who would end up getting fined $2,500 for throwing the ball at Shaq. “Someone pushes you down, I just responded in kind.”
“He just grabbed me, he was under me, I had to get him off me,” Said O’Neal, who was fined $3,500 for getting Dudley off of him. “I wasn’t angry at all.”
What most people don’t know is Shaq and Dudley have a little history. During the 1997 playoff series between the Lakers and Jailblazers, Dudley was complaining non-stop about Shaq being allowed to commit offensive fouls on every play.
“How many offensive foul calls were called tonight?” Said Dudley about the officiating after Game 1. “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 real 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, a fed-up Dudley committed a flagrant foul on Shaq that had the entire Lakers organization calling him Dirty Dudley.
“I don’t know what kind of statement that is,” Lakers Coach Dell 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 Lakers Eddie Jones called it “a cheap shot” and Dudley defended himself by saying, “I just gave him a little shove. I wasn’t trying to hurt him.”
Well, I guess Shaq was just trying to give him “a little shove” after dunking on him in 1999.