Hall-Of-Famer coach Phil Jackson draws up comparisons between Michael Jordan and Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal.
Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal are two of the most influential players ever witnessed by the league. While Michael is considered to be the greatest player ever, dominance wise, Shaq tops the list. In their own ways, the two eccentric players completely revolutionized how the sport of basketball is played and perceived.
In terms of accolades wise, both these Hall-Of-Famers are two of the most accomplished players in NBA history. Michael was a 6-time champion, 6-time Finals MVP, 5-time league MVP and 14-time All-Star. Whereas, Shaq’s resume isn’t all that bad too, being a 5-time champ, 3-time Finals MVP, a league MVP and 15-time All-Star.
Very few players could actually stop the wrath of these two generational talents. Due to their dominant style of play, Shaq and MJ not only impressed their millions of fans but also mesmerised their rivals.
“Shaq and Michael Jordan, both are great”: Phil Jackson
Hall-Of-Famer coach Phil Jackson had the privilege of coaching some of the best players on two of the greatest teams headlined by stars like Jordan, Pippen & Bryant, Shaq.
Back when Jackson was still the head coach of the Lakers, he was asked to pick one of the two dominant players – Mike or O’Neal. Instead, the 13-Time NBA champion chose to give an honest comparison between the two:
“The reality is, Shaq is so dominant you always have an over-match- you can always draw a double team. You can almost always get a shot for somebody because he’s got a double team.
“The drawback about that is if he’s got to have the ball put in his hand. Whereas Michael can get it and take it 90 feet and develop something from within that aspect of bringing it up the court and finding an operating space.”
He concluded, “They’re both great.”
One just can’t compare the two legends. Especially a coach who mentored both these phenomenal players, he would have a really hard time choosing his favourite one. We should all feel blessed that the league has been able to be graced by these all-time greats.