“Shaquille O’Neal was more dominant but Hakeem Olajuwon was better”: NBA veteran Robert Horry highlights the difference between the All-Time greats

Arjun Julka
|Published June 10, 2021

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.”

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Also Read: “Take Michael Jordan’s jersey off and wear your own jersey”: Shaquille O’Neal told Kobe Bryant to rep his own jersey after the Lakers beat the Nets in the 2002 NBA Finals

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.

Also read: “Shaquille O’Neal tried to posterize Charles Barkley and missed”: Lakers legend tries to dunk over the Phoenix legend on the set on NBAonTNT

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.


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About the author

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

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