ESPN.com recently published an interesting story about basketballs that are used in the NBA. Surprisingly, they quoted a part of Shaq talking about deflating balls before games. HUH!? He said he used to do it so that he could get a better grip on the ball and palm it.
Sometimes, in the games during all my championship runs, if a ball was too hard, I let air out. I’d have a needle. A friend of mine would have a needle and I would get the game ball…I needed that extra grip, but I wasn’t doing that for cheating purposes. I just needed the extra grip for my hands so I could palm it, a la Michael Jordan, the way he used to palm it. I’m not aware of any letter of the law that says you can’t let air out of the ball. I’m not aware of that. Second of all, it’s all about my [comfort level]. A lot of times, if the balls have too much air in them, they’re too bouncy. I didn’t want them to be bouncy. I needed that grip
WTF dude!? Not only is this story interesting because, back in January, after the NFL’s Patriots #DeflateGate scandal happened Shaq tried to prove that a deflated basketball wouldn’t help an NBA player. You mean to tell me that at a towering 7’1″, you can’t grip on a ball with a circumference smaller than your hand? Yeah, OK.