Today Shaquille O’Neal is a very large man but he has also mellowed. And when he was young he was not.
If you have every stood close to him, it’s shocking because the guy is enormous. If you’re a player you kind of have some idea what to do, maybe, but if you’re a normal person and you imagine being one a court with him, it’s a surreal experience. He’s enormous. And as a young guy?
So you can imagine that getting into a fight with him would have been - would be - frightening.
Which is exactly what happened against Tennessee in 1992.
If you want to skip ahead, go to this spot and watch #33, Carlus Groves, grab O’Neal when he tries to go up.
Then all hell breaks loose. O’Neal turns on Groves, understandably angered, and the benches clear.
Even LSU coach Dale Brown appears to take a swing.
It’s a huge mess but fortunately no one was hurt, at least not seriously.
O’Neal went on to a Hall of Fame career and his NBA rivals quickly learned that the only way to stop him was to foul him and put him on the line, where, to be kind, he wasn't very good.
But realistically, Hack-a-Shaq was the only way to stop O’Neal. At his peak he was the second most powerful big man in history, behind only Wilt Chamberlain.