TNT analyst and former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal made news yesterday when he gave some thoughts on the center position in the NBA. Obviously, that implicated Dwight Howard. .
It seemed as though Shaq declared that the Brooklyn Nets’ Brook Lopez is a “better” center than Dwight Howard. And that comment, taken by itself, seems rather curious… That is, until you read exactly what O’Neal said…
Because O’Neal is arguably one of the greatest centers to ever play the game, what thoughts and opinions are, at the very least, considered. But before we go any further, it’s important to note that saying one player is “better” than another is almost pointless. In much the same that it’s impossible to find an concrete definition of an “All-Star” or a “Most Valuable Player,” naming one player as “better” than another is something that’s really based on opinion.
But here are O’Neal’s remarks… Thanks to CBSNewYork.com…
“‘What we have now are centers that are going to the European style, which is a lot of pick-and-roll,’ O’Neal said when discussing who the best big man in the NBA is on NBA.com. ‘Dwight Howard, who’s a pick-and-roll player, some people say he’s the best center in the league. But me being an old-school center, I’m going to go with Robin Lopez and Andrew Bynum because they play with their back to the basket.’”
To us, it seems as though O’Neal isn’t declaring Lopez to actually be better than Howard, but just that he would rather Lopez because he has a more dependable back to the basket game.
Obviously, Shaq is more concerned with what happens on the offensive side of the ball than the defensive side, because there is zero doubt that Howard is a superior defensive presence.
There’s also zero doubt that O’Neal wasn’t being completely objective. His feud with Howard is well documented.