There aren’t many ways to stop Shaquille O’Neal.
As the age-old saying goes, “you can’t stop him, you can only hope to slow him down.”
His dominance gained national attention while he played in Baton Rouge.
A brute down low force, Tennessee’s Carlus Groves figured the only way he could prevent Shaq from scoring in the 1992 SEC Tournament quarterfinals was by grabbing the center around the waist as he went up for a dunk.
LSU Tigers head coach Dale Brown didn’t take too kindly to that.
Dale Brown Charges Carlus Groves
The LSU basketball team was a solid bunch. Shaq was the focal point with forwards Vernel Singleton and Clarence Ceasar playing supporting roles.
They rolled into the SEC Tournament as the 23rd-ranked college basketball team in the country.
This is all fine and dandy. Where’s the real action?
The second half was about halfway through. As soon as Groves pulled down, Shaq furiously broke his grasp.
LSU coach Dale Brown only saw red. And purple. And gold. And white. And orange. There were a lot of colors out there.
Groves and O’Neal had a little mixup, and while the refs separated the two, Brown charged at Groves to deal a healthy shove.
He wore a snarl Tyler Herro would be jealous of.
The benches cleared, the scuffle turned into a shoving brawl and ejections started flying.
Tennessee’s Groves, Jay Price, Chris Brand, Steve Rivers and Alonzo Johnson got the boot along with Louisiana State’s O’Neal, Harold Boudereaux, Vernel Singleton, Jamie Brandon and Maurice Williamson.
Brown was not ejected. Later, he said that we was playing “peacemaker.”
The league suspended O’Neal for the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals against Kentucky. Brown was furious.
“The league should be embarrassed for suspending Shaquille O’Neal for one game,” Brown said. “It’s a joke. The wrong people on our team were kicked off the floor.”
The Wildcats defeated the Tigers, 80-74.
There could be an extra banner hanging at the Pete Maravich Center had Shaq played against Kentucky.
If there’s an argument at my next pick up game where Tyler thinks Steve’s foul was bush league, I’m giving Brown a call to calm everyone down.