Shaquille O’Neal says he let air out of basketballs during the Lakers’ championship run


You’re probably tired of hearing about deflated balls. The around-the-clock coverage of the New England Patriots’ scandal and the punishments that were handed down to Tom Brady and the team. But the practice of deflating balls is more common than people realize, and not just in football. Shaquille O’Neal freely admitted recently that he used to adjust the inflation in game balls during the Lakers’ early-2000s title runs to make them more comfortable for him.

Via’s Baxter Holmes:

But long before “Deflategate,” the practice of putting extra air in or letting it out of a game ball — beyond the regulated amount — was used by some of the NBA’s biggest teams and stars.

Take Shaquille O’Neal, for instance.

“Sometimes, in the games during all my championship runs, if a ball was too hard, I let air out,” the former All-Star center said in a recent episode of…

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