Shaquille O Nealhas as illustrious anNBA careeras one could wish for. The 4x NBA champion is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most unstoppable forces that the league has seen. There is no denying that no player could completely stop a prime Shaq.
Be that as it may, that does not always mean O Neal s team managed to win and avoid disappointing eliminations. Fans could argue that being swept and finding one s self unable to win a single game is a disappointing loss. With that being said, let us take a closer look at whether Shaq has ever been swept in the playoffs. After all, both the Conference Finals matchups seem to be heading in the same direction.
Shaquille O Neal has been swept from the NBA playoffs 6 times throughout his career
There is always an innate tendency to forget or overlook the failures of NBA legends. This makes sense considering that fans always want to propagate a narrative that their players are invincible. However, it turns out that even Shaquille O Neal s team has been swept 6 times in his 18-year career. That means he suffered a humiliating loss in the postseason for 33% of his career.
Many of these sweeps happened during the time O Neal spent with the Orlando Magic. Shaq was swept by Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers in 1994. The very next year, he made it all the way to the NBA Finals, just to get swept by Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets. Yet again in 1996, he was swept by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
In 1998, he failed to win a single game against John Stockton, Karl Malone, and the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference Finals. The following year, he was swept by Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Finally, O Neal lost 4-0 to the Bulls in the 2007 playoffs, albeit at the backend of his career.
This is in no way a slight at O Neal. After all, teams employed strategies such as Hack a Shaq in order to stop him. To those who do not know, that was a method of using substitute players to merely foul Shaq when he got the ball in order for him to earn his points at the free-throw line.
That, along with exploiting the other weak links to his game and his teammates is a reason why Shaq couldn t win a single game. Another important reason we shouldn t forget is the fact that he lost to teams with players fans consider legends today.