Re: Do you Remember Don Nelson's Hack-A-Shaq defence



"Magic-MARK-er" <marker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in
news:Xns97DDD0A4819DAMagicMARKer@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx:

And the rubber pig's nose Shaq wore?


I remeber a clown nose...
5) "Don Nelson is a 'Clown Coach.'' That was Shaquille's take on Hack-A-
Shaq. But it was Nellie's response that disarmed The Diesel -- and maybe,
in the eyes of Mavs fans who had long been crushed by O'Neal, humanized
him. Nellie had missed 21 games after treatment for prostate cancer, so he
was a sympathetic figure and a funny one when he and other front-row folks
at Reunion Arena showed up for a March 12, 2001 meeting with the Lakers
wearing red clown noses.
"I knew he wouldn't forget my comments," said O'Neal, who laughed gleefully
as he posed for photos with Nellie, both of them donning the round red foam
clown nose for photogs.

Diesel 'N' Dallas
Shaq & The Mavs: An 8-Step Primer

http://www.dallasbasketball.com/headline_E.asp?pr=

Diesel 'N' Dallas
Shaq & The Mavs: An 8-Step Primer
By Mike Fisher -- DallasBasketball.com
First off, Shaq never "nearly became a Mav.''
But Miami's Shaquille O'Neal and the Mavs do have a colorful and tangled
history of sorts. As they prepare to battle in the NBA Finals, we offer an
eight-step Shaq-and-the-Mavs primer:
8) Shaq never "nearly became a Mav.'' It's not true, no matter how many
times they uttered that phrase on SportsCenter over the weekend. The true
story:
Two summers ago, Shaq, Kobe and Phil JackZen arranged for their Lakers
divorce. Mavs owner Mark Cuban absolutely contacted the Lakers and
expressed his interest in O'Neal. Said Cuban: "What happened was, I called
up the Lakers and said, ?We?re interested, and Mitch Kupchak said, ?You
don?t have anything we want.?
And that is essentially the end of the story. There was never a Dirk-for-
Shaq offer, as has been reported. (Cuban said then he wouldn't have done
such a deal). There was never any offer. "They made it clear there was zero
chance of a trade with us,'' Cuban said.
Again, that doesn't mean the Mavs didn't consider pursuing him. And I can
promise you Shaq considered it. He conceded as much this week, saying
"Dallas was one of the cities I wanted to live in,'' but it might have been
a little more than that.
Take it from me: That summer, Cuban's cel phone rang alot. And on the other
end of the line were "people very close to Shaq.'' Alot.
7) Big D Is PartyTown. And why was Shaq so interested in landing in Dallas?
"He's spent a lot of time in Texas,'' is the way Cuban puts it, and of
course, Shaq did attend some high school in San Antonio and did attend
college just down the highway at LSU. But most of all, I think, Dallas has
become one of Shaq's parties-away-from-home destinations. He's gotten away
from it in recent seasons, as he has presumably settled down and embraced
marriage and fatherhood. (His gangsta-themed parties -- "Scareface'' is a
fave -- are now Miami-based.) But there was a time when O'Neal's arrival in
Dallas meant an annual party, a luxurious one, dancing girls, Cristal,
finger foods, the works.
I know the NBA Finals is all business and all, but. ... Shaq's going to be
here for five straight days over the week and weekend.
Wanna bet Shaq hosts a party?
6) Hack-A-Shaq. In the 2000-01 season, coach Don Nelson had little more
than gimmicks to throw at the powerful Lakers. He utilized what has become
known as "Hack-A-Shaq,'' a technique that called for the Mavs to foul
O'Neal when he received the ball in the paint, the idea being that while
his two points from there were automatic, sending him to the line would be
less so. Outside of Dallas, the plan was universally disliked -- and still
is, though interestingly, even Pat Riley himself (the legendary Lakers
coach who now coaches Shaq in Miami) used the technique as recently as in
the Eastern Finals, against Detroit's clank-shooting Ben Wallace.
The guy who most disliked Shaq going to the line 20 times in a Lakers game
against the Mavs that year, naturally, was the guy who is destined to fail
at the line: Shaq himself. Which is why he fumed that. ...
5) "Don Nelson is a 'Clown Coach.'' That was Shaquille's take on Hack-A-
Shaq. But it was Nellie's response that disarmed The Diesel -- and maybe,
in the eyes of Mavs fans who had long been crushed by O'Neal, humanized
him. Nellie had missed 21 games after treatment for prostate cancer, so he
was a sympathetic figure and a funny one when he and other front-row folks
at Reunion Arena showed up for a March 12, 2001 meeting with the Lakers
wearing red clown noses.
"I knew he wouldn't forget my comments," said O'Neal, who laughed gleefully
as he posed for photos with Nellie, both of them donning the round red foam
clown nose for photogs.
4) Coasting In The Regular Season.'' The regular-season meetings between
these two clubs cannot be completely discarded. On Nov. 25 in Miami, the
Mavericks beat the Heat 103-90 -- but Miami played without Shaq. In the
Feb. 9 rematch in Dallas, Shaq did play. He was an unstoppable force in the
first half, but ended the game with 23 points because the Mavs were so in
charge of a 112-76 decision.
Is Miami a different team? Sure; they even have a different heat coach than
they had at season's start. And Shaq was obviously cruising at times during
the grinding regular season, reportedly losing weight at the end of the
campaign to prep for the postseason. Still, something odd: Shaq's playoffs
numbers are 20.1 ppg and 9.6 rebounds per. His regular-season stats: 20 ppg
and 9.2 rebounds per.
That's "turning it up''?
I'll argue again that even if Miami is different, better, Dallas has
changed for the better as well, and is vastly better equipped to deal with
O'Neal than ever before.
3) "Ericka Dampier.'' And Erick Dampier and DeSagana Diop are the reasons
for that belief. For years, the Mavs tried trickery to defend O'Neal. Now
they use. ... real live centers. Centers with bulk. Centers with length.
Centers with a defensive mindset.
Up until now, that approach hadn't earned Shaq's respect. He's never talked
much about Diop (maybe his ultimate sign of disrespect). In the last year,
he's talked plenty about Dampier. At the beginning of the 2004-05 season,
Damp's first in Dallas, Dampier proclaimed himself "The second-best center
in the NBA.'' It wasn't all that outrageous, given the paucity of great big
men, but Shaq took offense.
So one one occasion Shaq called Dampier "soft.'' Another time he
characterized his own poor effort by saying, "I felt like Erick Dampier,
and that stinks." Last summer on a TV talk show, Shaq said Dampier would be
dominant in the WNBA, but not the NBA. "Yeah, I said it," Shaq giggled.
"Write it down, take a picture, send it to him." And he called him "Ericka
Dampier.''
At the beginning of this season, Dampier responded. "I don't understand
it,'' he said. "Why would a player as good as he is be focusing on me
during the playoffs? I'm not even in his conference. To me, that's crazy.
If he wants to take it down to that level, he can do what he wants. I said
what I said, I think what I think, and I've moved on."
Now they are in the Finals together. Diop and Damp will both take turns
hanging onto the behemoth. And for the moment, Shaq isn't laughing anymore.
He mentioned both "Mr. Diop'' and "Erick Dampier'' by name on Sunday, and I
swear he kept a completely straight face.
2) Mark-eting Cuban. Cuban always tried to get under Shaq's skin when
O'Neal was in LA. Some of it has to do with enforcement of the rules (it
was Cuban who successfully urged refs to watch for Shaq crossing the free-
throw line prematurely), but most of it was simply to manufacture a Mavs-
Lakers rivalry. A memorable moment: An American Airlines Center screening
of "Shaq Albert,'' a Fat Albert cartoon starring a beefy O'Neal. Shaq
looked up at the screen and laughed then.
He's still laughing.
''Mark's a great guy,'' O'Neal said. ``Young, up-and-coming owner. One of
my idols when it comes to business. ... It's all marketing. He understands
marketing.''
1) Designing A Team To Beat Shaq. It is a featured theme of the six-year-
long Cuban Era; as a Mavs fan, he suffered through endless blowout losses
at the hands of the regal Lakers. It was clear that if Dallas was ever to
become a West power, it would have to overcome LA. He couldn't do anything
about all those losses to Magic and Kareem, but he and Nellie could do
something to stem the tide of Shaq, so they tried. ... everything.
The Mavs tried using no center; remember guard Erick Strickland taking a
defensive turn?
They tried using a freakish center; Shaq used to giggle when we'd ask him
about Shawn Bradley trying to guard him. "He's my favorite player to pose
with for pictures," O'Neal would say. Translation: Shawn was often the
victim of a Shaq "posterization,'' a dunk so breathtaking that it would
become part of a keepsake photo or a high-selling poster.
The last great theory: Spread the floor with shooters, forcing Shaq to exit
the paint to guard somebody. The focal point of that philosophy was jump-
shooting center Raef LaFrentz. And like everything else Dallas had tried,
it didn't work.
Finally, this year, the Mavs created a successful formula to win the West,
and in truth, part of the formula was patience: Eventually, Shaq and Kobe
and JackZen would break up or get old or grow indifferent or something,
right? And the road to the West title wouldn't go through La-La-Land?
Ironically, the Mavs' road to the Finals didn't go through LA and Shaq. It
goes through Miami. ... and Shaq.

10:39am June 5

.



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