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Bill Russell Once Revealed How He Would Defend Shaquille O’Neal: “I Would Make Him Play Hard Zone… If I Weigh 240 And He Weighs 300, He Has To Carry That Weight Up And Down, The Fatigue Factor Becomes Part Of It.”

Bill Russell Once Revealed How He Would Defend Shaquille O’Neal: “I Would Make Him Play Hard Zone… If I Weigh 240 And He Weighs 300, He Has To Carry That Weight Up And Down, The Fatigue Factor Becomes Part Of It.”

When it comes to being the most dominant player ever to play in the NBA, most fans and experts will take the name of Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O'Neal. From the day that O'Neal entered the league, he started to showcase his incredibly dominant playing style.

During the prime of his career, it seemed impossible to stop Shaq once he made up his mind about scoring on a particular play. He proved that his dominant playing style wasn't just for show, as he won four NBA Championships in his career.

The strategy that had at least some effect on O'Neal was 'Hack-a-Shaq.' It was a simple strategy where players from opposing teams committed intentional fouls on Shaq to force him to take free throws. After all, Shaq wasn't a great free-throw shooter.

But the strategy was as desperate as it sounds and Shaq even revealed once that he believed it was a simple way to say that players couldn't stop him. So is there any actual strategy to stop Shaq? Well, late NBA legend and 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell once shared his thoughts on how he would defend Shaq in a 1997 interview.

(starts at 4:45):

"I would make him play hard zone, plus I would make him have to run up and down the court all day. If I weigh 240 and he weighs 300, he has to carry that weight up and down every time, the fatigue factor becomes part of it."

In simple words, if Russell had to face Shaq in a game, he would simply wait for Shaq to get tired. This strategy might work well against Shaq, but it's honestly a double-edged sword.

Because waiting for Shaq to get tired won't do any good for Russell's team if O'Neal has already scored a lot of points in the match. At the end of the day, it's a hypothetical conversation, and we will never know in what way this matchup will go.