You still didn't answer the most important question: How old are you? It was more important for me to know how old you were in 1992 than now but by answering the original question I would of got the answer I wanted.
This is a post about Shaq's all-time status. And we are involved in a tangent about Shaq's long-term impact on the way the game of basketball is played. and YOU ARE TELLING ME, that THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION is MY AGE.
That's what you're telling me.
Here's what I've got. I've got an article that says that Shaq was a terrific disappointment for Reebok and wasn't even worth the 3 million a year they were paying him (didn't Bron get like a 100 mil deal?) so they let him go and he proceeded to make the crappiest athletic shoe brand known to man.
And you're telling me Shaq changed the shoe industry? Shaq got OWNED by the shoe industry. shaq got dunked on and T-bagged by the shoe industry. that point is officially defeated. I'm not saying Shaq isn't a terrific force, or that Shaq isn't really popular, or that Shaq didn't change the way the game was played that he was playing in. I'm telling you that Shaq isn't Bob Cousy, Pistol Pete, Bill Russell, Kareem, Magic, Bird, Jordan, Kobe, or even Hakeem. He doesn't have kids in every playground in the country trying to be like him. In 20 years there won't be some budding superstar who will owe his moves and swagger to the path that Shaq laid down for others to follow. And it's not his fault. The reason Shaq is better than Bird and Magic is the same reason that he's not as important as them. He's too big. He's one of a kind- there CAN'T ever be another Shaq, nobody can hope to emulate what he's done.
He's 7'1, spends all his time doing unglorious things in the paint, and getting results while the Kobes of the world make circus shots, thrill the crowd and capture its imagination and sell the shoes and have cocky kids on the playground yelling their name when they pull up for a gamewinner in pickup games. These big men, they don't have a chance to transcend into the amateur game unless they have a signature move that people who aren't 7'1 350 can do- dream shake, sky hook.
Elite five? Is he one of the top five centers of all time? Yes. Top five players? No. Top five to me, in whatever order you wanna rank ’em are Russ, MJ, Wilt, Kareem, Magic/Bird, Bird/Magic. I’d been recently thinking about Shaq’s place in history, and was trying to formulate what my opinion was. Debits against him and why I don’t have him ranked higher are (copied and pasted from what I’ve written):
1) work ethic. His work ethic has always been questionable, he’d come into training camp out of shape, and he waited until a few weeks before training camp to have surgery on an injured toe when he could’ve done it during the summer, saying, “I got hurt on company time, I’ll heal on company time.” Uh-uh. None of the players in the top five ever pulled anything like that. Rick Barry offered to work with him on free-throw shooting, and Shaq says, “Rick Barry’s resume is not good enough to even come into my office to be qualified for a job. I will shoot negative-30 percent before I shoot underhanded.” Wilt couldn’t make free throws, but he tried everything. That’s not the attitude of a top five player OAT.
2) durability. Shaq’s missed a lot of games over his career, averaging 66.6 games a season excluding the 50-game 1999 season. In contrast, Kareem averaged 78 games a season for 20 years, Chamberlain averaged 74.6 a season playing 45.8 minutes per game and Russell averaged 74.1, including playing only 48 games his rookie season after joining the team late after playing in the Olympics.
3) rebounding and defense. O’Neal never led the league in rebounding or blocked shots; all the other four of the top five centers of all time have led the league in rebounding—Olajuwon twice, Abdul-Jabbar once, Chamberlain a record 11 times, and Russell four times. Olajuwon led the league in blocked shots three times, Abdul-Jabbar led the league four times, and blocks weren’t recorded for Chamberlain and Russell, but referee Earl Strom estimated that they were both getting 8-10 blocks a game for most of their careers. Shaq’s career highs in rebounding and blocked shots both came in his rookie season, and he declined every year after that. O’Neal’s been an NBA All-Defensive Second Teamer in 1999-2000, 2000-2001, and 2002-03, while in contrast, Olajuwon was a five-time NBA All-Defensive First Teamer, four-time NBA All-Defensive Second Teamer, and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, Abdul-Jabbar was a five-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection and a six-time All-Defensive Second Team selection, Russell was an NBA All-Defensive First Teamer in the first year of its existence which was the last season of his career, and Chamberlain was an NBA All-Defensive First Teamer the last two years of his career. Every single one of the other four centers were better defensively. David Robinson, another contemporary of O’Neal’s, led the league in rebounding in 1990-91, led the league in blocked shots in ’91-92, was a four-time NBA All-Defensive First Teamer, four-time NBA All-Defensive Second-Teamer and 1991-92 Defensive Player of the Year.
And he didn’t become the “MDE” and best center in the league until the other great centers were past their prime: Hakeem was 35, Robinson was 32, and Ewing was 35. During the threepeat run and his playoff dominance, he went through Rik Smits, a 35-year-old Dikembe Mutombo, and Todd McCulloch, Jason Collins, and Aaron Williams.
On the other side, why he could be ranked higher than I have him, he made six NBA finals with three different franchises. He’s the third-most prolific scorer in NBA playoff history with 5,045 points, trailing only Michael Jordan (5,987) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (5,762), and has the eighth-highest scoring average, ranks fourth in postseason rebounds behind Russell, Wilt and Kareem (2,481), third in blocked shots behind Kareem and Hakeem, third in field goals made behind Kareem and Jordan, fourth in field goals attempted, and sixth in field-goal percentage. Shaq was able to dominate and lead his team to titles unlike Chamberlain, who was actually too dominant and had to scale back in order for the team to win. Shaq dominated in the playoffs and led his team to multiple titles, which separates him from Chamberlain. However, conversely, Chamberlain had to go through tougher competition for a title, having the greatest defensive center in the history of the game and the greatest dynasty in the history of professional team sports as a ro******* in the playoffs year after year after year. In order to win his first title, Wilt had to go through Bill Russell in the Eastern Conference Finals, averaging 21.6 points, 32 rebounds and 10 assists and posting 29 points, 36 rebounds and 13 assists in the deciding Game 5 to break the Celtics‘ eight-year stranglehold on the title, then Nate Thurmond in the NBA Finals back-to-back. Shaq never had to face any competition of that caliber at his position en route to his titles.
Top five center of all time? Yes. Top 10 player ever? Yes. Top 5 player ever? No.
EDIT: Is there are reason why the word r o a d b l o c k is censored? I don't get it.
Last edited by ThaRegul8r : 08-14-2007 at 07:13 AM.
I'm telling you that Shaq isn't Bob Cousy, Pistol Pete, Bill Russell, Kareem, Magic, Bird, Jordan, Kobe, or even Hakeem. He doesn't have kids in every playground in the country trying to be like him.
I remember buying Shaq's 1996 US Olympic jersey and proudly rocking it to a pick up basketball game. All amped to play, rocking Shaq's jersey, I thought I'd get a little respect. When we were getting ready to play, one of the older kids told me to take it off and just play in the t-shirt I had underneath. He said that the team didn't need that kind of bad luck. I remember a friend turning to me and saying, "I told you you should have gotten Penny's!"