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Shaquille O’Neal Welcomes Domantas Sabonis Into ‘Elite’ Group 9 Weeks After Denying Joel Embiid Entry Into ‘Big Man Alliance’

Advait Jajodia

Shaquille O’Neal Welcomes Domantas Sabonis Into ‘Elite’ Group 9 Weeks After Denying Joel Embiid Entry Into ‘Big Man Alliance’

Merely a day after Domantas Sabonis surpassed Kevin Love as the player with the most consecutive double-doubles ever, Shaquille O’Neal showered the Sacramento Kings star with lofty praise. During the halftime break of the Kings-Mavericks contest, O’Neal gave Sabonis the huge honor of adding him to the “Big Man Alliance”.

The “Big Man Alliance” is a prestigious group of centers from the NBA that Shaquille O’Neal takes pride in being one of the more distinguished members of. With the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and Hakeem Olajuwon, among others, being part of the same, Shaq constantly monitors the addition of players to the list. Fortunately for Domantas Sabonis, he’s been approved by the Los Angeles Lakers legend.

“He’s (Sabonis) the guy that does everything he’s definitely in the big man alliance,” Shaq claimed.

While the Big Aristotle added the Latvian to this elite group of players, he denied Anthony Davis entry. However, the reason behind the same is that AD isn’t a traditional center.

“AD is not a big man, he’s a power forward. Don’t do that,” Shaq told Candace Parker.

Shaq did confirm the stars in the “Big Man Alliance” from the current lot of players. Nikola Jokic got the nod when he won the 2023 championship. Domantas Sabonis received a welcome to the group after achieving the impressive double-double feat.

The TNT analyst also admitted that Joel Embiid was part of this list. However, it seems surprising that O’Neal added him to the elite group despite rejecting his entry merely 9 weeks ago.

Shaquille O’Neal denied Joel Embiid entry to the “Big Man Alliance” 9 weeks ago

Domantas Sabonis has had a tremendous season. However, his addition to the “Big Man Alliance” comes as a shock.

Merely 9 weeks ago, Joel Embiid was denied entry to the same group by Shaquille O’Neal. Despite the Philadelphia 76ers superstar having a far better resume – an MVP, two scoring titles, five All-NBA Team selections, and three All-Defensive Team selections – than Sabonis, Shaq was only ready to add Nikola Jokic from the current era to the alliance.

Shaq even claimed that JoJo needed to either win a championship or have an illustrious career with incredible stats like Patrick Ewing to be eligible for a selection. However, since January end, Embiid has only received an All-Star selection that was expected when O’Neal made the comments.

Seems like the Hall-Of-Famer has only added the reigning MVP to the alliance so he would not receive any criticism for giving Sabonis a nod.

About the author

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia


Advait Jajodia, a seasoned NBA journalist, has had a passion for the game for over a decade. His journey from admiring Kobe Bryant's precision to being in awe of Stephen Curry's long-range mastery instilled a profound understanding of basketball. With a background as a two-time National-level player, Advait uses his experience on the hardwood to offer insightful analysis. Over three years of dedicated sports journalism has equipped the 21-year-old with a unique perspective, reflected in his prolific portfolio of 3,700+ articles.

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