Of all the things Shaquille O’Neal characterizes, dominance on the court has to be one. The big Center who starred for the LA Lakers mostly in his career, was regarded as one of the most dominant centers in the NBA during his time.
Back in the past, Shaq had declared Hakeem Olajuwon as the only opponent he couldn’t dominate during matches. However, while comparing himself with Hakeem Olajuwon recently, he seems to imply otherwise.
Shaquille O’Neal compares himself with Hakeem Olajuwon to show his NBA dominance
When legends go head-to-head against each other, stats happen to justify their comparisons. Shaq and Hakeem dominated the game at a time when Shaq was with the LA Lakers and Hakeem with the Houston Rockets.
In reference to their on-court showdowns, Shaquille O’Neal believes he has an edge over Hakeem Olajuwon in terms of dominance. Recently he shared an infographic on his Insta story that shows the all-time head-to-head comparison between Shaq and Olajuwon.
During their illustrious careers, Shaquille O’Neal won 3 Finals MVP awards while Hakeem Olajuwon won 2 Finals MVP. Both of them were named league MVP once respectively. In terms of All-NBA Team Selections, Shaquille O’Neal had 14 All-NBA selections while Hakeem Olajuwon was named All-NBA on 12 occasions.
Shaq’s 15 All-Star appearances also amounts to more than Hakeem’s which stands at 12. Hakeem, however, received more All-Defensive selections of the Year at 9 which was Shaq received 3 All-Defensive selections. Shaq’s outstanding impact on the game is shown through his 181.7 total win shares and 26.4 career Player Efficiency Rating (PER) which are higher than Hakeem’s 162.8 total win share and 23.6 PER.
Surely Shaq’s Instagram post was never meant to discredit the impact Hakeem had in the NBA. It is proof of what both NBA legends have achieved in their career days.
Shaquille O’Neal once admitted Hakeem Olajuwon was a better center than him in ’90s
Shaquille O’Neal himself had once admitted that Hakeem Olajuwon was a better center than him. Even though Shaq had won more NBA championships, he still publicly admitted that.
He said, “It was a very emotional moment for me. Because the guys that are greater than me. I can’t believe that I’m sitting next to him. You wanna look at myself play? I was not as good as Hakeem. I wasn’t even as good as Chief.”
He even went further and said that he did not level up to the great Houston Rockets Hall of Famer. This honest admission shows Shaquille O’Neal’s sportsmanship and humility as he freely acknowledges Olajuwon as the better center during their active career days while also praising the greatness of a fellow player. It simply shows the respect that NBA players have for each other.
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