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A biomechanics breakdown of Shaq’s destructive drop-step move & technique

I detailed Shaq’s patented drop-step move through the lens of biomechanics and sports science.

Rockets v Lakers Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

If you want to a see an entire team and coaching staff get stricken with a sense of fear, dread and inevitability, watch a highlight of Shaq posting up in his prime. He had a variety of moves and techniques in his repertoire, particularly a destructive baseline drop-step move that consistently terrorized opponents.

In the following video, I detailed each component of that drop-step — from the setup to creating contact, his spin move and timing, footwork, and the numerous counters that kept defenders guessing — through the lens of biomechanics and sports science.

So there you have it. Shaq’s drop-step was a beautiful combination of strength, finesse, mental speed and rhythmic timing. It was a key move that allowed him to be arguably the most dominant player ever, buoyed by a number of counters that never allowed defenders to get comfortable. Don’t let anyone tell you that Shaq wasn’t skilled. He didn’t become the most dominant ever by accident.

Dr. Rajpal Brar has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 1.5 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), and analyzes the Lakers from a medical perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and Laker Film Room. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.

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