Fans forget how Shaq Diesel used to be dominant.
A recent Shaquille O’Neal rumor has him close to signing a deal with the Boston Celtics to go on another adventure of ring chasing. It’s sad to see the old man like this chasing these things when he already has four. He is also a shell of his former self. The new generation of fans will probably only remember Shaq within the past 4 years. The long time fans barely remember O’Neal during his Orlando Magic days. Please don’t forget – Shaq was the most physically dominant center in the last 30 years.
Shaq Diesel was the most physically dominant – not the most skilled. If he was half as skilled as Hakeem Olajuwon then Shaq would have been the best center of all time winning 6+ titles. Back in the 1992 NBA Draft, Shaq Daddy had a lot of hype coming in since he is a legit 7 foot, 300 pounds shot blocking menace. His hype was nothing compared to Greg Oden and LeBron James and that blame is associated with the internet and the NBA forcefully manufacturing stars. Despite that, we knew at the time that Shaq was already in the elite class.
The numbers- In 1170 games currently, O’Neal is averaging 24.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, and 2.6 assists. During his absolute peak, which was in 1999-2000 where he earned the MVP award, Shaq averaged 26.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.7 blocks. In the playoffs that year, he averaged 30.7 points, 15.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists.
The numbers, along with the 4 rings, prove that he is a sure shot first ballot Hall of Famer. It’s no wonder why he has a bone to pick with Dwight Howard. Let’s be honest here. D-12 is a great defensive player. He’s better than Shaq ever was. With that, Dwight Howard will never be the overall complete dominant package that Shaq was. Case in point, Howard is not a good passer compared to him. Howard is only 6-11, 240 pounds, too. D-12 does have the potential to average 25+ points if only he makes at least 70 percent of his free throws. That remains to be seen.
Shaquille O’Neal already has a long list of work proving that he was a 25+ points per game scorer.
Two things hurt Diesel’s legacy – health and ring chasing. How much did those things really hurt?
He never played a full 82 game season. After his first 3 years, O’Neal constantly battled some kind of injury. Shaq could have had bigger numbers if he participated in half of the games he missed. The ring chasing part hurt him the most. He’s been with at least 5 teams – 6 if he signs with Boston. He became a joke in the latter part of his career. Despite this, O’Neal is a lock as a Hall of Famer. That’s a no-brainer.
Where is Shaq’s rank among all time greats?
Love or hate him, Shaq is among the top ten, but he’s nowhere near top 5. I cannot even place him over Tim Duncan because of durability and ring chasing issues. The Shaq Attaq should have given up his Alpha male role to Kobe just like how Kareem Abdul Jabbar passed the torch to Magic Johnson to win more rings.