“There was no F***king guarding him”: Richard Jefferson reveals Shaquille O’Neal imposed opponents to switch players

Shaquille O’Neal dominance on the basketball court is legendary, and even those who didn’t witness it firsthand can feel the spine-tingling sensation when players who played against him describe his otherworldly abilities. Richard Jefferson, who faced off against Shaq during the Lakers’ threepeat run, describes the nightmare-inducing prospect of trying to guard the Lakers legend.

When asked on JJ Redick’s podcast “What the Fk Do you do With Shaquille O’Neal?”, Jefferson’s answer is simple: “There was no fking guarding him”. Shaq’s statistics during the three-peat run were mind-boggling, with averages of 38 points, 16.7 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks while shooting 61% from the field in one season, and 33 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3.4 blocks with 57% in another season.

Jefferson explains that guarding Shaq was impossible and that Shaq alone was the most dominant ever, even more so than LeBron James or Michael Jordan. Shaq’s ferocity and power were so great that they resulted in rule changes, as he even bent backboards due to his immense strength. Jefferson describes Shaq as having changed the game, not just through his abilities, but also through the need to change physical equipment to accommodate his unique skills.

The fear in Jefferson’s eyes when he talks about facing off against Shaq says it all. Shaq’s dominance was simply otherworldly, and even those who didn’t witness it firsthand can feel the impact he had on the game.

Shaquille O’Neal: The Unstoppable Force on the Court

Shaquille O’Neal was a dominant force during his peak years with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000 to 2002, where he helped the team achieve a three-peat championship run. Despite facing some injuries, O’Neal’s performance was nearly unstoppable, averaging 28.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.6 blocks per game during that period.

Shaquille O'Neal: A Force of Nature | FOX Sports

While O’Neal was impressive throughout the NBA playoffs, he saved his best performances for the NBA Finals, where he averaged 35.9 points, 15.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 2.9 blocks in those three Finals. He was a key contributor to the Lakers’ success and was named the Finals MVP in all three championship runs.

In 2006, O’Neal added another championship ring to his resume as a member of the Miami Heat, although he was no longer in his prime, and Dwyane Wade was named the NBA Finals MVP. In 2002, the Lakers faced the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals and swept them in dominant fashion. O’Neal was unstoppable, and his impressive performances earned him the Finals MVP award after averaging 36.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game.

I'mma bring a championship to Miami, I promise": 7-foot-1 Shaquille O'Neal made a promise after getting traded from Lakers and fulfilled it in 2006 - The SportsRush

Overall, Shaquille O’Neal’s contribution to the Lakers’ success during his peak years cannot be understated. He was a dominant force on both ends of the court and played a crucial role in the team’s three-peat championship run.



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