In a top 10 Centers of all time list, will you rank Shaquille O'Neal above Hakeem Olajuwon?
What up Haloengel,
I will have to respectfully disagee with you for the following reasons:
(1) Hakeem played against better competition: Some of the players that Hakeem had to play against and put up the type of numbers that he did include: Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Robert Parrish, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, and even Shaquille O'Neal. It is not Shaq's fault that he plays during a time when the league is not full of dominant centers.
(2) Point #1 - personified in the playoffs. In the two titles that Hakeem's teams won he went head to head versus Patrick Ewing and versus Shaq. In Shaq's three trips to the finals: Rick Smits/Dale Davis (Ind), Jason Collins (New Jersey), Tood McCullogh (Sixers). Just saying that doesn't compare well to Hakeem over: Ewing, Shaq, and keep in mind that he had to get past Kareem Abdul Jabbar to get to the finals.
(3) Hakeem played on both sides of the ball. If you were to make an all-time defensive team- i think Hakeem would at the very least be a 2nd or 3rd team (all-time all-defensive team). Shaq would not even be mentioned in the top 20 of all-time defensive centers (he wouldn't even be on the 10th team). Sorry but Shaq has never been a dominant defender. Offensively i think the two are very comparable but Hakeem should get a huge nod over Shaq on the defensive side of the ball. It's the same reason that some might rank Bill Russell above Wilt Chamberlin.
(4) I think that Shaq is the most physically gifted athlete of all-time in the NBA. The guy is a genetic freak- and i think most would argue with his body that he could have put his name in the discussion of being the greatest of all-time (for those who say He is- you are very much dis-respecting Wilt, Kareem, and Bill Russell). Throughout his career Shaq has had a reputation of not being in shape- he had a glaring deficiency making free throws and has always denied that is a problem. And he has constanlty arrogantly referrred to himself in an over-estimated manner IE: His recent rap where he talks about: "It's like Kareem thinking he's better than me..."
Hakeem by contrast- did not start playing basketball until College. While his soccer background gave him some of the sweetest post moves ever... he had to work on that game. And as i said- he wasn't just dominant on the offensive end but also on the defensive end. Imagine if the "Dream" had started playing ball when he was in Jr. High or Elementary school.
To me- i think this is the biggest distinction. Shaq has in many ways wasted his talents by not asserting himself 100% and sometimes by making himself bigger than the game. Hakeem was the consummate professional who played on both sides of the ball- and made it about the team and not about Hakeem. i can't ever remember him once ever saying how great he was- but always giving praise to his teammates. To me- Hakeem you could argue even is the greatest of all-time (on both sides of the ball) because of what a professional he was. i don't think you can say that about Shaq- particularly his lack of work ethic and his lack of defense-- don't get me wrong Shaq is great and a first ballot hall-of-famer but no way i put him above Hakeem.
What do you think was Shaquille O'neal's biggest regret is?
I don't think he regretted any of the other ones. I mean he said he would start more "beef" with Kobe to fire both of them up, and he said something if they had stayed together, both of them would have 5 rings by now. So C is a possibility, but I can't imagine Shaq not feeling good about getting a ring without Kobe....... first.