5 best Shaquille O'Neal moments with the Orlando Magic
4. Bye, Bye, Backboard!
April 23, 1993: Shaq brings the goal down
Ah, Diesel Destruction.
This was not the first time Shaquille O'Neal brought a goal down. He made the stanchion bow to his power in Phoenix earlier in the season. But this moment in the Meadowlands was the most memorable.
First off, Shaq has always said he wanted to break the rim, and with his pure power and non-Shaq-proof rims at the beginning of his career, he made it a mission to destroy the basket. He did just that against the New Jersey Nets late in his rookie season.
""A lot of people ask me, when I pulled down the rim in New Jersey, was it intentional? The answer is hell yes.""- Shaquille O'Neal on breaking baskets
While almost giving himself a concussion, O'Neal ripped the backboard off its stanchion, shot clock and all. It caused a 40-minute delay and an all-time moment in Magic history -- not to mention overshadowing Nick Anderson's 50-point game off the bench.
This particular dunk had a ton of history for O'Neal. He claims, in his 20 years in the league, that he was only dunked on by three players -- Michael Jordan, Tim Perry and Derrick Coleman. When recalling Coleman's dunk over him, it was that one that stood out because the now 16-year pro gave him the Dikembe Mutombo finger wag. That was not getting past O'Neal.
He played with an edge against the Nets every time after that.
And it showed. Metal support snapped. Basket on the ground. Message delivered.