Shaq on Rik Smits: He ‘destroyed me each time. Oh, my God.’


Here’s a full countdown of a 50 best players in Indiana Pacers history, as comparison by IndyStar’s Nat Newell.
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The Indiana Pacers haven’t been to a finals given 2000, when Jalen Rose, Reggie Miller and Rik Smits carried them into a matchup opposite a Los Angeles Lakers.

They mislaid in 6 games as core Shaquille O’Neal incited in absurd box scores. He forsaken 41 points in a determining Game 6.

Game 5? 35 points.

Game 4? 36.

You get a idea. O’Neal was widespread in a series, averaging 38 points and 16.7 rebounds. Smits’ many prolific tour in a array was Game 4, when he scored 24. He was hold to 12 or fewer in any of a other five.

That’s expected how fans of any authorization will remember his run opposite a Pacers and Smits in particular.

But in a new Sports Illustrated piece, O’Neal enclosed Rik Smits as one of a 4 players he feared when entering a league. They were Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and a “Dunking Dutchman.”

“Rik broken me each time,” O’Neal told Jack McCallum. “Oh, my God. Pick-and-pop, burst offshoot in a post, we couldn’t stop that kid. If it wasn’t for his feet problems, we substantially [never would] have been means to stop him. When we played them in a [2000] Finals, we had to go behind to some aged tape.

“I saw that this man used to kill me, so now that I’m here in a Finals, we got to kill him immediately so he understands this is a opposite Shaq.”

Though Smits went down as a best Dutch actor in NBA story and one of a best Pacers, his career was singular by haughtiness repairs in his feet. He underwent 4 visual surgeries and after had an operation on his back.

The health issues held adult to Smits only as O’Neal did in 2000, when Smits announced his retirement from a joining and staid down in (a unequivocally honeyed residence in) Zionsville, Ind. He’s given changed to Arizona.

You can find IndyStar sports writer Dakota Crawford on Twitter: @DakotaCrawford_.

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