Nearly 20 years later, it’s still a sore spot for Blazers fans. Heading into the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals, the Shaq-Kobe Lakers somehow trailed by 15 points at home and suddenly faced the prospect of going home early before their dynasty even got off the ground.
We all remember what happened next. The Lakers staged a furious rally, the Blazers collapsed under the pressure, and the history books have it down as one of the greatest comebacks in NBA playoff history, the defining moment of which was Kobe’s beautiful lob to Shaq for the massive tomahawk jam to put the punctuation mark on the game and vault them into hoops Valhalla.
They’re both retired from basketball now, but Shaq is preparing for his son Shareef to make a push for his chance at a career in the NBA. In the meantime, however, Shareef O’Neal has recently decided to pay homage to his father’s iconic moment by having it tattooed across his leg.
Shareef was a medical redshirt freshman at UCLA this season but was unfortunately forced to miss the entire year because of a heart condition and would have to undergo surgery. That procedure was reportedly successful, and he announced earlier this spring that doctors had cleared him to return to basketball. O’Neal is expected to suit up for the Bruins this fall.