Shaquille O'Neal complained Monday that Danny Fortson flopped in the Sonics' 98-96 victory at Miami.
On Sunday, prior to the rematch in Seattle, Fortson had some harsh words for the big guy.
"You know something? That is a cop-out," Fortson told The (Tacoma) News Tribune. "Write this down. If he can't go out and bang, if he can't get two or
three feet underneath the basket, he is ineffective.
"My goal is to keep him out of the paint. That is not an easy task to do. That is easier said than done. But I am going to try to keep him out of the
paint and see how good he is.
"I challenge him to take a jump hook. Take a couple jump shots. I bet you he can't do that. Of course he is going to complain about flopping because
he has to be inside to score buckets. If he doesn't get inside to score buckets, he might as well give the ball to Dwyane Wade and move back."
In Monday's game, Fortson drew a foul from O'Neal while he was going to the basket in the first quarter. Sixty-nine seconds later, Fortson drew a
charging call on O'Neal by flopping, sending O'Neal to the bench for the rest of the quarter.
"Bill Russell and Bill Walton would be ashamed to watch this game, big men flopping around like that," O'Neal said after the game.
"I don't even know what he is talking about," Fortson told the paper. "He is the big man. He's the one that wants to go out there and dunk on
everybody, like he's been doing. I'm not going to feel sorry for him.
"He is the biggest man in the world and he's worried about guys flopping? That is kind of crazy, you know.
"One flop? I only got one flop? Besides that, who wouldn't flop against Shaq? But for the most part, Bill Walton and Bill Laimbeer and Charles Barkley
would be proud of how I went head-to-head with him. Especially Charles Barkley. You know what I'm saying? For the most part I was in there battling
O'Neal finished the game with 25 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks, but Fortson did a reasonably good job on the 7-foot-1 force. Fortson, who leads
the league in technical fouls, had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the game and also didn't get into any personal arguments with O'Neal or bicker with
"I am going to play hard," Fortson told the paper. "It ain't going to be no different on Sunday. We are going to do the same thing, and it is going to
be the same results. We are going to win the game if we play hard. I am going to try to stay focused like I was in Miami. It's no easy thing. It's a
work in progress for me. But if I stay focused, it's like David and Goliath, I win again."