In a recent Reddit post, NBA fans debated if they would pick LeBron James or Shaq as No 1 overall if they were part of the same draft class.
Shaq is arguably the most dominant player in the history of the NBA. In the period between the late ’90s and early 2000s, there was no one more dominant and exciting to watch than Shaq.
The 4x NBA champion had the ability to rise and shine above the rest of the competition, night in and night out. Additionally, he did it during an era where the NBA was filled with Hall of Fame level centers (Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, etc)
Whereas, LeBron James is the dominant NBA player over the last decade or so. Statistically speaking, no player has impacted the game more in the time since James first broke into the league in 2003. Regardless of that, however, his overall body of work has already cemented LeBron as the most dominant player in the NBA.
Two of the most hyped NBA prospects ever: Shaq and LeBron.
If they were in the same draft class, who would have went No. 1 overall?
(h/t Snypse/Reddit) pic.twitter.com/JtQUV5hZI5
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 9, 2021
Recently, a Redditor made an interesting question about who would go No. 1 overall pick if Shaq and LeBron were in the same draft class. This resulted in a hotly contested debate between NBA fans.
LeBron James vs Shaquille O’Neal: Who is the better player?
Shaq dominated opponents by using brute force and raw power, whereas LeBron did it with strength as well as finesse. Shaq demanded the ball and dunked on your favorite team’s center. In contrast, LeBron made the right “basketball play”, whether that be driving to the basket himself or assisting his teammate.
When it comes to accolades, LeBron has more All-Star, All-NBA, All-Defensive, and more MVPs than Shaq. The Diesel ended his career with 4 rings, the same number as LeBron right now. However, LeBron has a chance to improve on these accolades: Advantage: LeBron.
When it comes to stats, LeBron has more PPG, APG, SPG compared to Shaq. He’s also obviously a better shooter than Shaq, who had no real jump shot and couldn’t make a free throw to save his life. However, Shaq has the advantage in RPG and BPG. Advantage: LeBron James
When it comes to defense, you cannot pick between the two. Although Bron has more All-Defensive selections, Shaq was great on defense. However, LeBron entering season 19, plays less defense to focus more on offense.
In order to build a championship-level team around LeBron, you have to fit exactly the right pieces in. He needs to be surrounded by shooters, who play good defense as well.
Shaq, on the other hand, didn’t have such harsh requirements. He can fit in with virtually any other superstar. This was proven when he played with Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade during his tenure in the NBA.
Both of them dominated during their time in the NBA. However, they did so in their own fashion.
Which one would you prefer?