Shaquille O'Neal had countless memorable moments during a career that spanned nearly two decades in the NBA. O'Neal won 4 titles, 3 Finals MVPs, an MVP, and 2 scoring titles as he established himself as one of the greats of the game.
In a recent interview with Marca, Shaq was asked about one game that always sticks out in his memory and that makes him smile, to which he had a very definitive response.
Q: Let's wrap it up. Which game sticks out in your memory? Which one always brings a smile to your face?
A: March 6, 2000. Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers. A pitched battle in the inner city. I was 28 years old. I scored 61 points and had 11 dunks in three quarters. How can I forget that night?
That scoring outburst against the Clippers was O'Neal's career-high in the NBA as the Lakers romped to a 123-103 win. Shaq was 24-35 from the field to go with 13-22 from the line and we'd be looking at close to 70 points here if only he could hit those free throws. O'Neal wanted to prove a point in that game after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had brought up the fact that he hadn't won a championship prior to it and he did just that.
He would also go on to win his first title later that year while also claiming Finals MVP honors, by averaging 38 points, 16.7 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks against the Indiana Pacers. It silenced a lot of his critics and Shaq would, of course, go on to lead the Lakers to a historic three-peat.
Despite that criticism from Kareem, Shaq still recently stated he was a big inspiration for him and added there will never be another one like Abdul-Jabbar. It is safe to say there isn't ever going to be anyone like Shaq, either.