Tuesday , Nov , 14 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Shaq Not Impressed by Yao Ming

Shaq Not Impressed by Yao Ming

It’s always been difficult for me to criticise Shaq and, with fifteen years of wear-and-tear beginning to show in his numbers, it’s something I’m having to do increasingly frequently nowadays. Unfortunately, another milestone in his downturn came on Sunday when Yao played him for 34 and 14 while holding The Diesel to 15 and 10. Is this the takeover I’ve been expecting (and dreading) since Yao first began to find his feet in the league?

Whether or not this will be seen as the moment when Yao staked his claim to being the best big on the planet, one thing’s for damn sure: Shaq doesn’t think much of the monster numbers Yao Ming’s been putting up of late.

"He’s pretty much the same, just big, 7-6," O’Neal said. "He’s just doing what he’s supposed to do."

Yao, on the other hand, was a little more deferential.

"My only chance against Shaq is to keep him on the run," Yao said. "Shaq is much stronger and bigger than me. My only chance on beating him is to keep running and running against him.”

Not content with emulating Shaq’s big statlines, Yao also worked on taking the “Big Quotable” nickname from him as well.

"Every time I score on him I was happy like a kid, like a kid getting candy on Halloween because it’s really too hard to score on him, too hard. He’s just great."