Shaquille O'Neal and Karl Malone are two of the most unstoppable players of all time. Everyone knows the dominance Shaq exhibited, as he was a genuinely unguardable force inside the paint. Karl Malone was quite the same, with a proficiency to make free throws when he got to the line.
However, big-men in the 90s would usually only interact in the paint and that was true when Shaq and Malone met in the Western Conference during their times at the Lakers (Shaq) and Jazz (Malone). Naturally, there were plenty of clashes between the pair, and in typical 90s fashion, they exchanged hard fouls.
In this instance, Shaq sent a message to Malone by fouling him as he went up with the ball. However, Malone wasn't going to back down to the much younger Shaq and got into his face after the foul. Karl was aggressive and was handed a technical foul as a result.
Fans wondered aloud which one of the two legends would be a winner in an actual fight. While Shaq does have the size advantage, Malone is known to be one of the toughest men to have ever played the game. So does raw strength win or does toughness prevail?
"I got Karl Malone man yall seen them arms on that MFer."
"Kobe would thank his BROTHER SHAQ for doing this"
"Karl “The Mailman” Malone would whoop em!"
"I would have loved to see Shaq swing at Malone!"
"Since Shaq can’t target a punch, I would go with the mailman"
"Shaq would put The Mailman in a mailbox"
"People in the comment section do sent know who karl malone is when he is really angry hahahahhaha"
"All the cheap shots, Karl Malone laid on other people he shouldn't complain about nothing!"
"Karl Malone out playing Shaq, but they say he the most dominant center ever, if Shaq was so much more dominant than Kobe, this is proof he couldn't get his team passed the jazz and sonics without Kobe Bryant"
"Shaq will beat up Malone Go Shaq!!!!!"
"My money on Karl, that man still in playing shape"
Shaq and Malone would eventually become teammates, so the on-court rivalry was never very intense. However, their stint together on the 2004 Lakers was unsuccessful as the pair would never win the title together, falling to the Detroit Pistons in the Finals. Malone would retire after the season.
The 1997 NBA Playoffs saw the Utah Jazz take on the Los Angeles Lakers. However, it was right before the Lakers found their championship-winning form. The Jazz would win the series, but Shaq and Malone would have some incredible battles, as shown in the earlier video. There were many hard fouls exchanged, which was the norm for 90s basketball at the end of the day.
Both players have glittering careers, so they obviously had heads cool enough to litter their careers with glory. Shaq would win 4 titles, while Malone is one of the top-five scorers in NBA history. Both men are happily retired now, with any possible rift lost to the annals of history.