A few days back, Shaquille O’Neal ranked himself as the 4th best center of all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. Analyst Skip Bayless explains how The Diesel is underestimating himself during this instance.
Shaquille O’Neal is undeniably the most dominant force the NBA has ever seen. Standing at 7-foot-1 and weighing a whopping 325 pounds, Shaq was a nightmare for any player who had the duty to guard him. And because of this inhuman size of his, The Diesel was able to command over the paint on both sides of the court, night in and night out for nearly two long decades.
With this mighty size advantage he had over his competitors, Shaq racked up one of the most decorated resumes ever. At the conclusion of his illustrious 19-year career, Shaq had 15 All-Star appearances, 14 All-NBA selections, 2 Scoring titles, 4 NBA Championships, 3 Finals MVPs, 1 MVP, 28,596 points scored, numerous posterizers and several shattered backboards.
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Skip Bayless explains how MVP Shaquille O’Neal is the greatest center ever
“Shaq is underestimating himself here, putting him 4th. The problem with this is are we talking about a small sample size or the whole career. Because if Shaq had taken care of himself the way Kareem did or Hakeem did or Mr. Russell did or Wilt did, they all got fit and Shaq didn’t get fit.
In all my years of watching and studying the National Basketball Association, I’ve never seen anything like Shaquille O’Neal for 2000, 2001, 2002 and maybe even 2003. It was the most overpowering force imaginable. He was unguardable, unstoppable, un-refereeable.”
Bayless also believed that a prime Shaq would’ve been untouchable against a prime Abdul-Jabbar.
“If I’m eye-testing this. If I try to imagine Shaq vs Kareem at their greatest, I don’t think Kareem could’ve dealt with Shaq. You could agree backwards to me that “Shaq couldn’t have dealt with Kareem”. But Shaq did make 3 All-Defensive teams in that stretch. So he was doing it on both ends too. And he was 7 feet 1 inches tall and probably outweighed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar by 40 or 50 pounds. Kareem just could not have dealt with him because Shaquille O’Neal was a dancing bear. You are talking about agile, touch and feel.
In his MVP year in 2000, he led the league in scoring with 30, led the league in rebounding with 14. He also chipped in with 4 assists a game which was his career-high. That’s just like too good. Nobody could deal with that and that’s the only MVP he won, but he also led the league by making 57% of his shots. Unguardable. If I take that Shaq, that was the greatest center I ever saw.”
Shaq lists himself as 4th-best center of all time
“Shaq is underestimating himself. In all my years of watching and studying the NBA, I’ve never seen anything like Shaq for 2000, ’01, ’02 and maybe even ’03. It was the most overpowering force imaginable.” — @RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/MN843CcJn9
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) August 26, 2021