One of Shaquille O'Neal's biggest weaknesses was his free-throw shooting. Despite being one of the most dominant offensive players in NBA history, he was never able to make his free throws at a consistent rate.
Many NBA teams took advantage of Shaq's poor conversion rate from the free-throw line by sending him to the line late in games when the score is close.
This strategy came to be known as 'Hack-A-Shaq' as teams would intentionally foul O'Neal in order to send him to shoot free throws in the hopes that he would miss at least one of them.
At his physical peak, Shaq was the closest thing to unstoppable. The only way to slow down Shaq was sending him to the free-throw line. But even that strategy had a tendency to backfire as Shaq would make his free throws on some occasions.
Despite his poor free-throw shooting, Shaq was able to put up some of the most incredible offensive performances in NBA history. He was a true powerhouse in the league, using his incredible combination of speed and strength to dominate the NBA and get whatever he wanted.
In fact, during Shaq's last NBA championship win with the Lakers in 2002, his free-throw shooting became a subject of mockery for Nets fans. The LA Lakers were playing the New Jersey Nets at the 2002 NBA Finals.
During one of the games in New Jersey, fans brought large artificial bricks to the arena, to make fun of Shaq 'bricking' his free throws. Nets fans did this to get under the skin of Shaq and the Lakers.
But this may have backfired on them, as Shaq and the Lakers swept the Nets in 4 games, winning their 3rd straight NBA championship. For his performance, Shaq was named the Finals MVP, with him getting the last laugh.
Shaq's combination with Kobe Bryant elevated the Lakers to arguably their most successful period in the NBA. With Shaq and Kobe leading the NBA as the dynamic duo, the Lakers went to 3 straight NBA Finals and won 3 NBA championships.
Shaq won 3 Finals MVP during this period and won a regular-season MVP as well. The fact that Shaq achieved all this success while still struggling with his free-throw shooting.