Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal is one of the greatest players ever to have played the sport of basketball.
He was a physically dominant player who would just move the opposite player just by his sheer size and strength.
At his peak, Shaq was the most dominant player in the sport. But eventually coaches found a way to reduce Shaq’s damage.
Since O’Neal did not have a particularly great free throw shooting, coaches would tell their players to just foul him.
The Big Diesel was a brutally low 52.7 percent career free-throw shooter.
So fouling him gave them a chance at one point play instead of the two if Shaq made the shot. And thus Hack-a-Shaq was born.
But the Lakers legend was not the original target of this tactic. The “Hack-a-Shaq” was actually intended to stop Dennis Rodman.
In a December 1997 road game against the Chicago Bulls, Dallas coach Don Nelson asked rookie Bubba Wells to foul Rodman as many times as possible to send the poor-shooting Worm to the line and steal a few possessions.
This would eventually find its way as a tactic to be used against O’Neal in later years.
Shaquille O’Neal’s time with the Lakers would make him a legend there. Along with Kobe, he would form a dynamic one-two punch. They went on to win three straight NBA Championships.