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The NBA community is well aware that Shaquille O’Neal was almost of a different species. The 7′ 11”, 325 lb league star sure left his mark on the game as a player. Not only that, Shaq also made sure some changes came about to cater to his physical characteristics. However, one additional rule was legalized that gave opponents advantage over Shaq.

And it led to a humorous incident.

When Gregg Popovich hacked- a- Shaquille O’Neal

The origin story of the offensive move called Hack-a-Shaq is well known around the NBA community. Don Nelson, the coach of the Dallas Mavericks, used the move back in 1997. However, it gained popularity after its results on Shaquille O’Neal came out destructive.



Once the NBA league proclaimed that players couldn’t purposely foul opposing players who didn’t have the ball in their hands during the last 2 minutes of the game. If this was done, the opposing teams would get 2 free throws and the possession of the ball.

Many teams purposely broke this rule while playing against Shaquille O’Neal, as they were well aware of his free throw game. Which was, so to speak, not there.

Once, back in 2008, when a reporter asked Gregg Popovich whether he would “Hack-a-Shaq” on the first possession of the game as a joke, Popovich affirmed. He said,

“You know, that’s not a bad idea now that I think about it.”

Et voilà, he did it.

5 seconds into the matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns, Shaq, was hacked. After winning the tip, former Suns player Michael Finley wrapped his arms around O’Neal. This made sure the play stopped five seconds into the game.



Seems like Shaq knew what was happening. He immediately looked over at Popovich and received two thumbs-up from him while they shared a laugh.

Not a lot of time before that, Shaq had called the Spurs ‘cowards’ the previous season for using the hack-a-Shaq on him. So this seemed to be Popovich’s response to Shaq, to show that he stood by his game plan.


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Mississippi Sheriff: County 'Blessed' to Get Armored Vehicle

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — A north Mississippi sheriff says his department was “blessed” to get an armored vehicle through a program that transfers excess military equipment to local law enforcement agencies.

Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook told the Commercial Dispatch that the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected carrier will be used for search-and-rescue efforts after floods and storms, and will provide cover for the SWAT teams in hostage or active-shooter situations.

“We’ve had tornadoes up here that have torn some towns apart and we have the ability to get in and out with this thing,” Crook said.

The department acquired the vehicle in June and has already used it to pull out a trailer that was underwater, he said. The vehicle was built for the Marine Corps and can operate in up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) of water.

The Defense Department still owns the vehicle that Monroe County is using. Private donations paid a $10,000 transfer fee for the county.

“We had plenty of support from the community and raised that money pretty easily,” Crook said. “We’re blessed to have it.”

Crook said the vehicle has no weapons. He said most feedback has been positive but he knows not everyone will approve of the department using a military-grade vehicle.

“It gets mixed reviews, especially in the current climate. ... If you’re against our officers being as safe as they can be, well then, OK,” Crook said.

“I think it’s just an intimidating look ... we live in a day where we have to keep up with the bad guys and normally the bad guys have us outgunned by a long shot,” he said. “This helps protect us. Two weekends ago, we had a shooting in Monroe County and the suspect used armor-piercing bullets and assault rifles. To pretend this stuff ain’t out there, and there’s no need for it, is burying heads in the sand.”

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