Shaquille O’Neal Reveals THIS Is Why He Felt Disrespected by Dikembe Mutombo During 2001 NBA Finals

Shaquille O'Neal was a force to reckon with during his NBA days and didn't like to be disrespected by the opponents. Read to know why O'Neal felt disrespected by Mutombo during 2001 NBA final.

Updated on Apr 22, 2024  |  06:45 PM IST |  77K
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Shaquille O’Neal and Dikembe Mutombo

Shaquille O'Neal is arguably the most dominant force that the NBA has ever seen. The Big Diesel was a force to reckon with during his playing days and almost every opponent avoided defending him during the game.

However, there were a few individuals who tried to have a go at the former Lakers superstar but ended up failing badly. One of those individuals was Dikembe Mutombo.

Shaquille O’Neal and Dikembe Mutombo

In the 2001 NBA Finals, Dikembe Mutombo attempted to get under Shaq's skin by showing off his unwavering confidence in his ability to guard the Los Angeles Lakers all by himself. O'Neal recently discussed it.

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Shaquille O'Neal and Dikembe Mutombo

Don’t disrespect me, Shaq on Mutombo

Rapper T.I. was asked to share his ranking of the top five Atlanta athletes on Shaq's podcast. Deion Sanders, Dominique Wilkins, Michael Vick, Dikembe Mutombo, and Josh Smith were the names he gave in response.

O'Neal had a smirk at the mention of Mutombo. Shaq was then questioned, "What's wrong with Mutombo?"


Shaq replied: “I'm thinking about A.I. (Allen Iverson) during the Finals, not even about Mutombo.

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Shaq mentioned what Uncle Jerome said: "Hey man, Mutombo said he is Defensive Player of the Year, he doesn’t need no double team (to guard Shaq)," . The Big Diesel felt insulted by this and said: "Don't treat me badly by claiming to be going one-on-one with me. It's an insulting gesture."

When O'Neal's bodyguard, "Uncle" Jerome Crawford, showed Shaq the remarks made by Mutombo, he undoubtedly intended for him to take it personally.

It was successful. Shaq won the Finals MVP. He averaged 33 points, 15.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 3.4 blocks per game. No one, not even Mutombo, could stop him.

Shaquille O'Neal and Dikembe Mutombo

Shaq has won more NBA titles than Mutombo

Mutombo is one of the best defensive players to ever grace the NBA but he was unlucky with the titles as he has no NBA rings to show.

On the other hand, the Big Diesel won four NBA titles which included a three-peat with the LA Lakers.

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