Luc Longley Reveals How He Had ‘Lots of Cracked Ribs and Busted Teeth’ From His On-Court Bouts With Shaquille O’Neal

Published 08/04/2021, 12:30 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 14: TV personality/retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal onstage at The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber at Sony Pictures Studios on March 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber will air on March 30, 2015 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Not many fans recognize Luc Longley today, the man who won three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. Apart from making history by becoming the first Australian-born to enter into the NBA, but was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for his stellar career. Even though Luc wasn’t the typical superstar player that the Bulls were filled to the brim with, his defensive prowess is what made him one of the best. In fact, having to go up against a dominant player like Shaquille O’Neal is something Luc can never forget.

Shaquille O’Neal physically broke Longley

Longley was not one of those who made an impression with his stats. He did step up from time to time, but there were some contributions of his that were crucial. As a role player, other than setting screens, he also made sure that the others got space to be open. While also being the huge body that they needed in the middle.


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As a 7’2″ center, he also ensured that he could provide some brutal defense against aggressive players like Shaq. However, it came with a price. Longley revealed, “I loved wrestling Shaq. And I got lots of cracked ribs and busted teeth as a result. But I loved it and Phil and MJ and Pip and all those guys understood that that made us good.”

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 06: Shaquille O’Neal appears to promote “Toys for Tots” during the AOL BUILD Series at AOL HQ on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

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One of the most underrated players of the Chicago Bulls

Longley has been making headlines recently for his comments on not being part of the documentary that focused on the Bulls Dynasty and Michael Jordan. His absence from ‘The Last Dance’ did affect him but he also understood why he wasn’t in it.

Even though Michael Jordan regretted not including him in the docu-series, he has always expressed how much he liked playing with Longley. He is considered the calm in the storm that the Chicago Bulls were at the time.


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Initially, Longley had a backup role with them and it was during the 1995-96 campaign that he became a starter for the franchise. Even though his job was limited, he knew how to do it well. However, he also moved on once this Bulls super team was disbanded and joined the Phoenix Suns. But when injuries started to get to him, he eventually retired.

The Lakers’ Elden Campbell shoots over the reach of the Bulls’ Michael Jordan, as his teammates Scotty Pippin(left) and Luc Longley look on. Campbell had a career high 34 points. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Longley continues to be in touch with his passion by being a coach. Like mentioned, he didn’t have the best stats, and he didn’t need them either. His titles and Hall of Fame status are enough to establish his importance and the role he played.


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Yashima Bhatia

1803 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.