Shaquille O’Neal once fell on top of Kenny Smith while diving for a loose ball, leading many to call Smith lucky for leaving the ordeal unscathed.
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the largest players to have ever played in the NBA in terms of weight and height. Standing at a towering 7’1,’The Big Aristotle’ weighing a whopping 325lbs for the majority of his career, with a few fluctuations here and there depending on which team he was on at that current moment in time.
Shaquille O’Neal on the Orlando Magic was around the 290lbs point as he was a bit ‘skinnier’ and more athletic than his Lakers and Heat days. Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith on the other hand, was 180lbs on his best day and stood at merely 6’3. That height isn’t short by any means but when comparing him to Shaq, it most certainly is.
Decades before the two would co-host NBAonTNT together, they would butt heads in both the regular season and postseason in their playing days in the 1990s. One particular meeting in 1994 saw a moment take place that could’ve been it for ‘The Jet’.
Shaquille O’Neal saves Kenny Smith by not falling on top of him at full force.
The Orlando Magic and the Houston Rockets developed a certain rivalry with one another in the mid 90s, stemming from Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon being the two best centers in the league. The two squads even met in the 1995 NBA Finals where the Rockets would sweep them.
Prior to this taking place, a meeting between the two squads in 1994 saw Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith dive for a loose ball before it went out of bounds. However, the latter found himself in a dangerous situation where he was being sandwiched between the hardwood and Shaq himself.
Luckily, the Magic center didn’t put all of his weight on top of him, resulting in Kenny leaving the situation unscathed.
Props to Shaq however as beating a 6’3 guard to the floor for a loose ball is no easy task for a 7’1, 290 pounder. This goes to show how athletic and ‘quick on his feet’ a younger Shaquille O’Neal truly was.