Shaquille O’Neal entered the NBA in 1992, and quickly became one of its best players. And Shaq wasn’t just instantly good — he was instantly famous, and instantly willing to challenge any of the league’s most feared big men. Those guys all wanted to take him down a peg, and did so in the 1994 All-Star Game. The Western Conference big men conspired (or at least appeared to conspire) to put Shaq on lockdown, holding him to 2-12 shooting in a typically defense-free exhibition.
Among those Western big men was David Robinson, and he ended up bearing the weight of the grudge Shaq held from that point forward. Robinson, “The Admiral,” made a lot of sense as Shaq’s foil. He was devout, polite, and famously charitable — what Shaq would (and did) call a “goody-two-shoes.” He was also very petty, and after a war of words throughout the 1993-’94 season, Robinson took an opportunity to spite Shaq in the final regular season game of the year. Shaq led the league in total points, so Robinson went out of his way to drop 71 in a meaningless game against the Clippers, denying O’Neal the scoring title.
That was the high point of the beef while Shaq was in Orlando. By the the time O’Neal was leading the Lakers to a bunch of Finals in a row, Robinson was injury-plagued and past his prime. Even still, the beef continued, as Shaq invented a story besmirching Robinson’s perfect reputation that he wouldn’t fully recant for over a decade.
Get the full story in the video above, and check out the prior episode of Beef History right here.