Now folks are talking about his legacy.
I think that Shaq would have been a much better player with more accomplishments if he consistently put in the work. His focused constantly wavered from the basketball court to Hollywood to music studios.
I mean, Shaq’s lack of attention to the little things hurt him: free-throw shooting, conditioning, and weight training were low on his list of priorities.
Just think if Shaq put in the time with his free throws – he would probably have broken all sorts of scoring records! Hell, he was such an unstoppable force in his prime. The only way players could neutralize him is at the free-throw line, though Shaq also didn’t have much of an outside shot.
Shaq’s lack of conditioning led to more injuries than he should have sustained. He was used to coasting during past regular seasons, turning it on in the playoffs when it counted. He only worked but so hard in building up his wind so he could always go 100% – regular season and playoffs. However, that lack of conditioning caught up with him as he got older, causing him to not come up big in the playoffs while with the Suns, Cavaliers and Celtics. Anyone seeing how he went out in Boston could attest to that.
Shaq’s ego also got in the way of greatness. He couldn’t co-exist with Penny Hardaway in Orlando, ruining what was a dynasty in the making. If he would have just sucked it up in L.A., he would have won at least THREE MORE titles (though I blame Kobe for 50% of that). He resented being second fiddle to Dwyane Wade in Miami, and didn’t really mesh well with LeBron James in Cleveland.
Shaq could have (and should have) been the greatest center to play the game. Instead, this is how I would rank him…
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: he is the NBA’a all-time leading scorer with six MVPs to boot. ‘Nuff said.
- Bill Russell: perhaps the greatest winner in ALL of sports, with 11 NBA championships to boot.
- Wilt Chamberlain: he, NOT Michael Jordan, is the best scorer in NBA history.
- George Mikan: the original dominant big man.
- Hakeem Olajuwon: anyone who seen him school Shaq and Patrick Ewing knows what I am talking about.
- Patrick Ewing: if it weren’t for that negro Jordan and his damn referee-loving, cheating-ass Bulls, he’d have a fist full of rings for my Knicks.
- Moses Malone: “fo, fo, fo…” I still love that line almost 30 years later…