NBA veteran Robert Horry makes his case for picking Hakeem Olajuwon over Shaquille O’ Neal in his rankings of the greatest centers ever.
There is no doubt that Rober Horry knows his basketball. One of the most clutch players ever to grace the NBA hardwood. Horry is a 7X NBA champion with 3 different teams.
During a recent interaction on sports and pop culture website Ringer. When asked to make a choice between Hakeen Olajuwon over Shaquille O’ Neal, Horry had this to say:
“Hakeem was better. Shaq was more dominant, but Hakeem was better. I think Dream had more talent. Shaq had handles, but Dream had a little bit better handles. Dream could shoot free throws, and we all know about Shaq’s free throws. He had a fadeaway.”
If you could pick between Hakeem or Shaq to join your team, who are you choosing and why? pic.twitter.com/7DgcEZ8kKx
— The Ringer (@ringer) June 9, 2021
Analyzing the decorated careers of Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O’ Neal
Hakeem Olajuwon is one of the best centers in the history of the league. Dream is a 2x NBA champion and finals MVP. Only a few years into the league, Olajuwon put the NBA on notice with his breath-taking performances.
The Olympic gold-medalist lead the league twice in rebounds beating the likes of Charles Barkley and David Robinson.
Olajuwon was at the peak of his career in 1994 as a rocket during which he became the only player to win the league MVP, championship, Finals MVP, and Defensive Player of The Year all in the same year.
In his 18 seasons, Olajuwon averaged 21.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, and 3.1 BPG.
Shaquille O’ Neal is regarded as one of the most explosive and physical athletes in the history of the NBA. Nicknamed superman Shaq’s ability to dominate in the paint was something the league had never seen before.
It was during his stint in the LA Lakers that made Shaq all-time great. The 15x NBA All-Star along with late NBA legend Kobe Bryant had a 3-peat with the Lakers. Shaq was crowned the Finals MVP thrice in a row.
After playing 8 seasons with the Lakers, the 2x scoring champion was traded to the Miami Heat, where he won his 4th NBA championship alongside Dwayne Wade.
In his 16 seasons, Shaq averaged 23.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, and 2.3 BPG.
1995 NBA Finals
In one of the most hyped series ever involving the centers of the opposing teams as the talking point. The Olajuwan led Rockets swept the Orlando Magic that was led by a relatively young Shaquille O’ Neal.
Olajuwon outscored Shaq in every game of that series.