Saturday , Jun , 13 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Dwight Howard or a young Shaquille O’Neal?

Recently, Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal, bearers of the ‘S’ moniker, have been locked in a petty feud that’s rather comical. Their exchanges even have a predictable routine: O’Neal, the Magic’s former five-man, publicly mocks Howard, the Magic’s current five-man, who then reacts like a hurt teenager on Beverly Hills 90210 …

Dwight Howard or a young Shaquille O'Neal?They are rivals, vying for the Superman nickname.

Recently, Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal, bearers of the ‘S’ moniker, have been locked in a petty feud that’s rather comical. Their exchanges even have a predictable routine: O’Neal, the Magic’s former five-man, publicly mocks Howard, the Magic’s current five-man, who then reacts like a hurt teenager on Beverly Hills 90210.

There are theories about the origins of their beef. Some believe O’Neal is angry with Howard for replacing him as the game’s top post. Others claim O’Neal could be jealous of Howard’s success in his hometown of Orlando.

Who knows? It could be anything, really. Perhaps, they just didn’t click on a personal level.

However, there are obvious similarities between Howard and O’Neal. And not just with the whole change in a phone booth thing. Both have that elusive combination of speed, size, and strength. Both have larger than life personalities. And both have redefined the center position.

This brings us to an interesting discussion on TBS’ post-game show with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and former Magic guard Nick Anderson, who was sitting in as a guest analyst. The three retirees all agreed they’d take a young Shaq over a present day ‘D-Ho’.

Of course, this comparison is perfect for the HoopsVibe masses to debate. Who would you want manning the key for your team: a young O’Neal or Howard? As always, read the post and hit us with your call in the comment box below. 

The case for Howard … 

He is their anchor. At just 23 years of age, Howard is already the player Stan Van Gundy designs his defensive schemes around. And with good reason –for instance, in game four of the NBA Finals, the former Slam Dunk champ had twenty-one rebounds and nine blocks.

Over the next decade, Howard will be at or near the top of the league in rebounds and blocks. Numbers don’t tell the full story, though. Like Bill Russell, the young pro is committed to playing individual and team defense.

(Superman the sequel or Superman the original?) 

The case for O’Neal …

If Howard is like Russell, then a young O’Neal was like Wilt Chamberlain. After all, ‘The Diesel’ and ‘Stilt’ dominated, not only stuffing the stat sheet with eye-popping numbers but also imposing their will on the game.

Simply put, a youthful O’Neal was a match-up nightmare. Forget the on-court antics and showmanship. And forgive the off-court nonsense like Kazaam and Biological Didn’t Bother. Nobody could hold him.

 (Check it out … What’s up doc!)

Our Call: The former Fu-Schniken gets the nod. O’Neal was a lock for 30 points and 15 rebounds every single game, while Howard occasionally has lapses and loses concentration. 

Who would you take a young Shaq or present day Howard? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of RMTip21′s portfolio.