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“Hack-a-Shaq 5 Seconds Into The Game”: Shaquille O’Neal Couldn’t Stop Laughing



Gregg Popovich is one of the most successful coaches we’ve seen in the NBA. The legendary Spurs coach is considered the winningest coach in NBA history. While many people find the bob intimidating, this is not the case with the 7-foot-1 Shaquille O’Neal.

In fact, near the end of Shaq’s career, the two had a relationship that allowed them to play pranks on each other. We saw a good example of the same in the 2008 Suns-Spurs game, which had Shaq laughing on the court.

Shaquille O’Neal was an unstoppable force in his day, and each team had to keep plenty of backups to ensure the damage could be piled on Shaq. It was Coach Don Nelson who devised and found a way to slow Shaq down with the “Hack-a-Shaq” technique. This is what bothers Shack, though he doesn’t admit it and Coach Bob knows it. However, the reason Bob pulled him here stems from the 2008 playoffs.

Coach Pop used Hack-a-Shaq as humorous response to Shaquille O’Neal’s knockout complaints

In the 2008 Knockout Round, the Tottenham and Suns met in the first round. With a 55-27 score, the Suns became the sixth seed, and the Spurs were the third seed.

Throughout the series, Gregg Popovich ensures that the Spurs continue to use Hack-a-Shaq, which O’Neal has publicly criticized. He went so far as to call the strategy cowardly and later said he would make Tottenham pay.

Two weeks after his statement, the Spurs faced the Suns in a regular season game, and Coach Bob decided to laugh it off. Within the first five seconds of the game, Shaq is hacked and we can see the look on his face as he looks toward Coach Pop. Coach Bob doubly agreed with him, causing Shaq to burst out laughing.

Although there have been many fights between Coach Pop and Shaquille O’Neal’s Spurs, the respect between the two has only grown and remains to this day. Coach Bob has been helping Shaq since before he came to the NBA

In 2018, Shaquille O’Neal shared how Gregg Popovich helped him before he made it to the NBA. When Pop’s wife passed away in 2018, Shaq revealed on Inside the NBA how Pop helped him.

“Once my dad and I had a little bit of a fight, and you know, my dad was in the military, he called me right away and said, ‘Never disrespect him again.’ Tell a story., a story like this: I was in San Antonio in 1989, I couldn’t afford an 18/18 19. My father went to Tottenham, and he and Bob went up straight away, and Bob gave him some shoes, and my father brought them home.”