Shaquille O’Neal Feels Disrespected By Dikembe Mutombo's One-on-One Challenge In 2001 NBA Finals

Photo: Instagram/Shaquille O’Neal

In a recent episode of his podcast, "The Big Podcast," NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal opened up about feeling disrespected by Dikembe Mutombo during the 2001 NBA Finals. 

Despite Mutombo's reputation as the Defensive Player of the Year, O'Neal revealed that Mutombo insisted on guarding him one-on-one, a move Shaq perceived as a blatant sign of disrespect.

Comparing the situation to a new rapper dismissing a veteran, O’Neal expressed his displeasure, stating, "Don’t disrespect me by saying you gonna play me one-on-one." 

Photo: Instagram/Shaquille O’Neal

He recalled the first play of the game, noticing that the double-team he expected didn't come, motivating him to assert his dominance on the court.

While the 76ers secured a Game 1 victory with Allen Iverson's explosive performance, the Lakers, led by O’Neal, clinched the championship in five games. 

O’Neal's impressive series stats of 33.0 points, 15.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 3.4 blocked shots per game highlighted his undeniable impact on the court.

Despite the Sixers earning praise for their resilience, the Lakers emerged victorious, claiming the Larry O’Brien Trophy and setting the stage for their subsequent dynasty. 

O'Neal's reflections offer a fascinating insight into the intensity and mindset of one of the NBA's all-time greats. (Source: Yahoo Sports)

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