Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal are both considered two of the greatest players of all time. Both players are considered legends in the NBA for all that they have been able to achieve. The two did not play against each other a lot of times during their careers, as Shaq joined the NBA just 6 years before Michael Jordan retired and left the Bulls. But during one of their games, he intentionally fouled MJ to avoid humiliation.
In a video segment for NBA 75, several NBA players were asked to speak about Michael Jordan. Shaquille O'Neal shared his experience playing against Jordan. He noted that Jordan tried dunking on him, so he decided to flagrant foul him. Shaq revealed that Jordan told him to never apologize for making contact with another player, something Shaq then carried with him later (3:45 onwards).
“I take pride in never being dunked on. In 19 years I could say I’ve probably been dunked on like 3-4 times. But His Airness Michael Jordan came baseline one time and tried to dunk on me. And it hurt my arm, but I had to flagrant foul him. When I went to shake his hand and pick him up, he said don’t ever help nobody up, and he hops right back up. I knew then why he was the best player in the game. Pat Riley told me later you show other players respect by showing them none. So Michael Jordan, yes we’re friends, brothers, but when we’re on this court, I don’t know you Shaq.”
Shaq took pride in having no one dunk on him. And when Michael Jordan, one of the greatest dunkers of all time, came at him, he had no choice but to take MJ down with a flagrant foul.
Shaq and Jordan only played in two playoff series against each other. Shaq and the Magic actually became the last team to defeat Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA playoffs. Jordan and the Bulls came back the next season and defeated the Magic in the playoffs, as they went on to win the 1996 NBA championship.