Imagine you’re Chris Dudley. You’re a 6-foot-11, 235 pound center for the New York Knicks guarding Shaquille O’Neal in the post. You’re helpless. Shaq scoots you down under the rim and hammers it home. To add insult to injury, he gives you a nice shove. You fall to the ground. Everything’s red. You pick up the ball and hurl it at the big man with all your might. You bark a few not safe for work terms.
You get a technical; he gets a technical. The Los Angeles Lakers walk away with a 99-91 win. You’re immortalized on the NBA’s pantheon of disrespectful dunks.
Shaq Dunks Over Chris Dudley
The entire arena was distraught. Patrick Ewing, Kurt Thomas, and Larry Johnson couldn’t believe their eyes. Dennis Rodman and Kobe Bryant were aghast. Shaq emasculated this man to the point where he retaliated like a kid who was given one too many wet willies. It’s not like Dudley is a small guy, either. He’s freaking 6-foot-11. He ended up on the wrong side of one of the most dominant forces in NBA history.
Dudley and the Knicks recovered enough to make a deep run in the NBA playoffs. The lockout shortened season condensed into 50-games made things odd enough. Not to mention the Chicago Bulls feeling the repercussions of Michael Jordan’s second retirement and missing the playoffs for the first time since 1984.
The Knicks added more absurdity by beating the top-seeded Miami Heat in the first round. They swept the Atlanta Hawks in the second round and beat the Indiana Pacers in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, becoming the first eight-seed in history to make the NBA Finals. Their luck ran out in a five-game defeat against the San Antonio Spurs. Fortunately, New York has known nothing but success since.
The Lakers beat the Houston Rockets in the first round and were swept by the Spurs in the second.
These days, the 2000 MVP graces our TV screens on TNT’s Inside the NBA talking about NBA players and league happenings. LeBron James, LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, New Orleans rookie phenom Zion Williamson, and Russell Westbrook frequent the program’s Orlando restart news. Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are ready to take the East. Michael Porter Jr. and the Denver Nuggets are also making noise. The Phoenix Suns were scorching hot, finishing 8-0 in the bubble only to miss the postseason.
The Paul George and Damian Lillard beef following the Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers matchup on August 8 rivals Shaq and Dudley’s. Lillard missed two crucial free throws in the fourth quarter and LA won the game 122-117. The two All-Stars traded insults on social media, which is just as intimidating as chucking a ball 100 miles per hour at someone who’s walking the other way if you ask me.
Both the Lakers and Knicks fell to the San Antonio, but the biggest loss of the 1999 season belongs to Dudley.