Shaquille O’Neal Was ‘Cheating’ in NBA Finals, Says Dwight Howard

Kobe Bryant, left, and Shaquille O'Neal in 2001

Getty Kobe Bryant, left, and Shaquille O'Neal in 2001

Shaquille O’Neal was a human cheat code during his Hall of Fame NBA career.

Just ask current Los Angeles Lakers big man, Dwight Howard.

Appearing on Instagram Live yesterday, Howard said that Shaq was “cheating” during the 2001 NBA Finals against the Allen Iverson-led Philadelphia 76ers.

In fact, Howard said Shaq dominated Dikembe Mutombo and Matt Geiger. “Two dribbles and a dunk,” said Howard.

Shaq’s Lakers beat the Sixers 4-1 in the NBA Finals that year. O’Neal averaged 33.0 points, 15.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game in the series and was named MVP of the 2001 NBA Finals.

Shaq Talks NBA Finals Appearances

Shaq Reveals Why Nets, Lakers NBA Finals Was BoringNBA Hall of Famer & TNT analyst, Shaquille O'Neal checked in with the Scoop B Radio Podcast and discusses the 2002 NBA Finals against the Jason Kidd-led, New Jersey Nets. Check out Shaq's entire interview with Scoop B Radio host, Brandon "Scoop B' Robinson:


During an appearance on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Shaq ranked his appearances in the NBA Finals and said after losing in his first trip, he never wanted to go through defeat again. “After making it to the Finals in ’94 and getting embarrassed by Hakeem Olajuwon, I said to myself, ‘if I ever go back, I gotta put on a performance so dominant that it won’t be a question who the champ is,” he told me.

“And then, I had another thing motivating me. Rik Smits used to kill me when I was younger. So I know he’s way older. He came in the game – oh yeah Shaq’s a dog. He’s the same ol’ Shaq, giving out elbows to the face and in your mouth and in your nose… I’m coming to take this trophy by any means necessary. So there was something that I had to prove and set an example and something that had to be done because, if we don’t win that first one, they’ll probably break us up and it’ll be a lot more negative stuff to talk about.”

Dwight Howard Heaps More Praise on Shaquille O’Neal

While on IG Live ahead of the NBA’s Orlando restart for the 2019-20 season, Howard also said he believes Shaq is the most dominant center.

“If you don’t go with Shaq you’re trippin’,” he said.

Shaq was dominant in 2002 against the New Jersey Nets. While on Scoop B Radio, The Diesel called it boring.

“It was boring because, what was that center’s name – Todd McCollough,” said O’Neal.

“Todd McCollough playing me? Stop it. You know what’s crazy? I actually got mad when we were playing in Jersey. You think Todd McCollough is going to stop me at the crib in Jersey in front of my grandma and grandpa?….Sheeeeeit! No. Stop it.”

The first pick in the 1992 NBA Draft out of LSU, Shaquille O’Neal averaged 23.7 points and 10.9 rebounds per game in a Hall of Fame career that included four NBA Championships, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, and 15 NBA All-Star appearances. His career included stints with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics.

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