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NBA / Sep 11, 2008 / 1:59 pm

Shaq says he will retire in 2010

ShaqShaquille O’Neal (photo. Chenoa Maxwell)

In an interview with an Orlando TV station earlier today, Shaquille O’Neal said he plans to honor the remainder of his contract and then retire from the NBA in 2010. The Suns are currently on the hook for $20 million per for each of those remaining years, so you have to wonder if they’ll ever look to move Shaq between now and when he says he’ll walk away.

Do you believe him, though? Shaq has said in the past that he would retire as soon as he couldn’t play for Phil Jackson anymore, then repeated the same mantra regarding Pat Riley. When his current deal expires the big man will be 38 years old, and as we saw last year (especially in his half-season with Miami), he’s clearly in that rapid big-man decline we’ve seen from the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing before.

With four championships, three Finals MVPs, one regular season MVP (should’ve been more) and career averages of 25 points, 11 boards and 2.4 blocks, where does Diesel rank among the greatest centers — or greatest ballplayers, period — of all-time?

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  • http://bouncemag.com Christian Grant-Fields

    A-Train,
    I personally love Shaq. I think he would give Wilt and Kareem the hot plate if he played against them in their prime. Shaq Diesel is the greatest center ever in my opinion.

    My ranking…

    1. Shaq
    2. Kareem
    3. Hakeem
    4. Wilt
    5. Pat

    …waiting for the barrage of hate messages to flood in. LOL

    -CGF

  • jimmhumm

    Ball player wise its
    Mj
    West
    Chamberlain
    Pearl
    Kareem
    Magic
    Shaq<<<

  • TWolves Convert

    Not many guys could dominate like Shaq could back in the day. I know a lot of people who didn’t like him because they thought he just plowed through people becaause his size. His physical power was part of the dominance, but the guy had some serious post moves and a suprising amount of finess. He still breaks some of those moves out now and again.

    I think he’s in the top 10 players and right in the mix when talking about top centers of all time.

  • Prof. TX

    I think Shaq’s ‘skill’ is overrated. He’s big enough to knock other guys out of the way, and gets the benefit of referee calls. Through most of his career, officials have let him get away with things that they wouldn’t let any other center do. It’s inflated his numbers and his reputation. Kareem and Olajuwon were far more skilled in the actual game, with ball handling skills and shots that Shaq can’t even get close to.

    Let’s not confuse big (heavy? fat?) with skilled.

  • hahns

    i couldnt agree more w/ tx. i think hes a skilled athlete to maneuver all 350lbs of his fat and be pretty nimble and coordinated…but his passing is so overrated. its really not that hard to pass out of a double team when you are twice the size of either guy guarding you… and if you get shaq 15 feet away from the basket, youre not going to get much.

    ewing and hakeem on the other hand…great jump shooters. skilled defenders. good passers.

  • hahns

    dhoward needs to watch massive tape of shaq btw, of him during the la threepeat

  • jfromla

    SHAQ aint top 5 centers of alltime. wilt russell akeem lew alcindor mikan.

  • fallinup

    I have Shaq behind Wilt, Russell, Kareem, Mikan, and Hakeem.

  • loganlight

    Christian

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Shaq is the most dominant center the NBA has seen… and will see for some time. His impact on basketball was HUGE. Would we deem Kobe the best on the planet without his rings? Would we say that Phil was the greatest coach without the 3 extra chips? Hard to say, but Shaq had a huge hand in both.

    Even in his decline he held down the middle so D Wade could take off and then bring in his 4th ring.

    He is an athlete – not just big, and he is, in my humble opinion, the best center ever.

    LL

  • jimmhumm

    Yeah right. Shaq is big but bieng fat doesn’t make you good. Look at Pig Miller! Dude weighed 300+ too and got murdered on court. Or fat Kemp with Cleveland/Portland! Them dudes wasn’t balling like shaq. People always got something bad to say about Shaq. Dude is a GREAT center. Even at this age he is better than Ewing or Dream at 35+. Be real dude is good. The song is still true “kobe ain’t win #### without me”

  • loganlight

    BTW – isn’t your physical makeup PART of your skill set? MJ’s hand size allowed him to do things with the ball that a normal player his size couldn’t do. It’s what you DO with your physical attributes that determine how great you are. Shaq was BIG…. then he got bigger. He let himself go these past couple of years, but when he was with the Lakers, he changed his physical makeup to become the most dominant center.

    LL

  • johnsacrimoni

    CENTERS
    Kareem
    Wilt
    Russell
    Dream
    Shaq

    PLAYERS
    Magic
    MJ
    Kareem
    Wilt
    Russell
    Bird
    Oscar
    Duncan
    Dream
    Kobe
    West
    Shaq

  • justice

    i put him after kareem,hakeem and wilt…shaq in his prime was better than both ewing and robinson, because they could step out to 17 that doesn’t make them better just more versitile…hakeem was phucking insane and kareem was automatic,wilt is hard to gauge and he doesn’t look too impressive when i watch his stuff,but it was hella effective so he can’t slide past 3.

  • QuEst??

    1. i dont believe him
    2. He can still play at an effective level ,just watch in miami last year he was playing horrible because he wanted to go and in phoenix he showed flashes of brilliance. now with a new half court system shaq will flourish again.
    3.he is the best center to ever play
    4. fuck jameer nelson

  • that’s whats up

    no shock hearing this.

    He mailed in his retirement plans at the same time he signed with the heat for the extension.

  • Big V

    Does Duncan count as a center? If so, Duncan > Shaq.

  • justice

    Magic/Michael is something i have been running over in my head lately too,but at the end of the day Michael is as competitive if not more than Magic,and he would have a better chance of stopping magic in his prime than magic would ever have at stopping Michael…The other thing i factor in is could magic make the transition to a shooting/scoring 2 guard faster than Micheal could make the transition to a distributing pg,probably not plus mike was a lockdown defender..So yeah he is the G.O.A.T

  • that’s whats up

    @ post 14

    I think you meant flickers where you wrote flashes

  • dat dood

    we can argue all day about who the best center of all time was, but when it comes down to that discussion shaq must be included. dood was a beast. i remember hating shaq because i was loving that blazers team from the early decade (sheed, damon, sabonus, pippen) and shaq came in the playoffs and absolutely smashed them, and the lakers 3 peat began.

    all the people saying he is just a big body with no skill needs to realize how much athleticism it takes a man that big to be able to move and do the things he did. You don’t believe me? Just take a trip down to your local gym and watch that 6’7″ guy that runs flat footed, looks incredibly goofy, is just big and awkward on the court and should be good, but has no idea how to use his size to his advantage. THEN THINK OF HOW SHAQ WOULD COME TO YOUR HOUSE AND DUNK ON YOUR WHOLE FAMILY! then go to your room and cry about how he can’t make a 15 footer.

  • QuEst??

    george mikan?!?!?!? are u kidding me in , he dominated because centers back then where 6’3. man if iplayed during those times id probably be a legend

  • QuEst??

    @ dat dood yea man that totally happened to me yesterday man a fucking 6″9 dude dint even make a single point, all the size for nothing, couldnt make a shot, couldnt dribble, couldnt pass, couldnt rebound and couldntblock a shot

  • Ian

    mikan
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha comon peeps lets be real

    now im with prof t on this one
    shaq is still better than pat in my opinion but not ahead of robinson and hakeem i know many of you guys are young and all but david used to give shaq all kinds of problems.

    and i know many of u think that hakeem is light years ahead of david robinson hes not he might be slightly better but those two go one behind the other on an alltime. david won like 85% of the games he played vs hakeem but lost a series because he had no good guards to spread the floor for him like hakeem did and the coach sucked. the dif is hakeem got single covered by david while david was tripled team all series. these 2 guys are like allen and reggie similar stats similar game similar accomplishments.

    centers list
    wilt
    hakeem
    david
    kareem
    shaq

    alltime
    wilt
    magic
    jordan
    bird
    robertson
    duncan
    kareem
    russell
    after that everything is all for grabs

    but then again this is just an opinion
    but for real mikan sucks

  • Ian

    dat dood good point even though i still think shaq doesnt have anywhere nears davids or hakeems game
    in the league i play the tallest dude is like 6’6 and hes the last one picked he sucks ass

  • jackass

    okay as far as i am concerned hakeem is the greatest center of all time… his dancing in the middle was unstoppable, in his prime he killed everyone else. shaq is an amazing center but better that hakeem? i dunno about that. hakeem played the game with grace and agility. he would play defense (check the numbers steals and blocks) like no other. he destroyed anyone who tried to step in front of him. the likes of young shaq, the admiral, ewing, mourning, mutombo… the list goes on and on. and talk about wear and tears against that kind of comp all year longg.

  • Matt B

    I can beleive how little I see Bill Russell on these “Lists.” Dude has more rings then all those other cats. He’s top 5 along with Wilt, Kareem, and Hakeem. That is top 4 without a doubt. No debate. Hakeem was in the finals back in 86 and won two chips as the leader of his squad. I don’t think I even haver to validate the other three. Shaq is probably 5th but he loses point because he dominated in a non-center era. D Rob, Hakeem, and P Ewing were all at the end of the road when he became unstoppable in the late 90’s. His best competition has been Rik Smits and Mutombo. Russel had Wilt, Kareem had Moses, Parrish, and Hakeem too. Shaq was amazing, but not in the top 4 IMO.

  • jackass

    i am not gonna bullshit like some of these guys, cause they READ about how good wilt, bill and kareem was. you’ve never seen them play, how do you make an argument about them?? yeaahh watching couple minutes of highlights don’t count boys… be real now….

  • http://www.barackobama.com Jim

    1. Russell
    2. Wilt
    3. Kareem
    4. Shaq
    4a. Hakeem

  • http://www.edthesportsfan.com SoulOnIce

    I’m with the last dude. I’m not about to name centers I’ve never seen, unless it was on ESPN Classic. In terms of centers I’ve seen play (26 years old), I have Shaq #2, behind Hakeem.

    1. Hakeem The Dream
    2. Shaq
    3. David Robinson
    4. Patrick Ewing

  • Matt B

    Read about 6 MVPS and 5 titles for Kareem, 10 Championships for Bill, Wilt had 3 chips and once led the league in assists, just cause. You can see highlights man and see a few game but history tell us it’s true. You only saw Rocky Marciano much but you’d still put himwith the greaterst fighters ever right? Don’t give me this see it in person BS.

  • Ian

    jackass
    i pick robinson on my list as better in his prime that which was kinda short cuz of 2 years in the navy and the back injury(spurs got duncan outta that so it was really a win). but still rank hakeem higher overall cuz of the career numbers
    but there are some things i cant ignore as to why i pick him in his prime over any other
    like from 90-96 (talking prime here) he was first team all nba 4 times hakeem 2
    Only player in NBA history to win the Rebounding, Blocked Shots, and Scoring Titles and Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and MVP
    quadruple double (hakeem has one also)
    Third player in NBA history to rank among the league’s top 10 in five categories (7th in scoring (23.2 ppg), 4th in rebounding (12.2 rpg), 1st in blocks (4.49 per game), 5th in steals (2.32 per game) and 7th in field-goal percentage (.551))
    First player in NBA history to rank among the top five in rebounding, blocks and steals (per game) in a single season
    also 4 defensive first teams to hakeems 3
    the third highest per in nba hisory
    jordan is 1 dont remember the 2 guy but it was shaq or wilt
    record for ibm awards
    and the sucker this all this shit in 7 seasons

    now in a complete career hakeem had a longer one and one the chips being the best player on his team thats why i ranked him ahead overall

  • Ian

    matt
    u r right thats why i have wilt as number one u dont have to see a guys career to know the history so comon in 10 years some 15 year old is gonna say carmelo is better than jordan cuz i never saw jordan thats kinda bs

  • SwedishMooze

    Mikan might be the best of his era, but if Shaq 2001 played Mikan head up he would DESTROY him like he was Chris Mihm and break his horn-rimmed glasses with his Diesel Shaq Fu…

    Don’t kid yourselves, Shaq was/is an immovable object and a RIDICULOUS athlete for his size… he might have been given leniency for banging, but the man takes PUNISHMENT night in and night out that, for any other player, would foul out 12 players and 2 assistant coaches.

    That being said, his inability to shoot free throws really costs him in any argument of “best ever”… Best ever players aren’t a detriment to their team, or at the very least a coaching question mark, in the last 5 minutes of tight ball games.

  • Ian

    jackass
    your post 26 doesnt make a lot of sense
    what can i say to my 3 year old when she tells me carmelo is the best scorer ever cuz shes only has seen jordan highlights? comon now

  • SayItAintSo

    @ Loganlight:
    ‘Would we deem Kobe the best on the planet without his rings? Would we say that Phil was the greatest coach without the 3 extra chips?’

    Would this post even have been posted if fat-shaq career hadn’t landed him in the hands of Phil and Kobe?

    They were all equally important. Shaq is good but by no means is he to be mentioned in the ‘greatest centers of all time’ argument. Dude is absolutely WORTHLESS outside of ten feet. So please, best center? BEST PLAYER!?! Get out of here.

  • Drink The Haterade (Kobe Rocks)

    Ok I actually know some people who have seen all of them play. Shaq, Wilt, and Kareem and Kareem would dominate Shaq on the offensive end, Wilt was just as strong and they would have a tough battle, but when was the last time you saw Shaq grab 30+ rebounds?

    Let’s also not forget how Shaq didn’t win a championship until Kobe came into his own and Dwade the same. I mean come on let’s be honest, SHaq got destroyed by Hakeem in 95.

  • Prof. TX

    About the old school:
    Mikan played in a different era, fully of 5’11” jump shooters. It’s almost not even the same sport. Russell got a ton of rings, but his game was kinda one-sided. He had great defense and rebounding, but didn’t have the offense that the other great centers have. It’s not that he wasn’t shooting, it’s that they weren’t going in. Chamberlain played by different rules. His rebounds were high because guys weren’t going to the rim as much as now. Nobody could get 50 rebounds in a game today because alot of teams aren’t going to miss 50 shots. And without goaltending rules, he was able to pull his own team’s shots off the iron and dunk them in. Imagine the explosion on the court if someone could steal points from Kobe that way today.

    It’s hard to find the centers that are timeless greats, that could thrive in any era and under a number of different rules.

  • jackass

    i didn’t say they sucked, cause i’ve never watched them play. i am just not gonna say any bullshit about how one would destroy one another. how do you know if you’ve only read some stats? that’s just my opinion. i am not gonna compare something i don’t know with something i do know. so i am gonna leave the greatness of wilt and bill and kareem. that doesn’t mean they suck.

    the admiral was destroyed by hakeem, there is a famous story of admiral asking help from rodman, and rod coldly said do your own job, you are grown man. hakeem went onto destroy the admiral in the series. also every time shaq met with the admiral he took it personally, and beat him up real bad. cause he ignored shaq when he was a little kind or something. i just don’t think david is in the same league with hakeem and shaq,

  • Ian

    jackass
    u r wrong on the famous story part
    it was the coach hill that said to help on hakeem and dennis didnt want to
    also if hakeem would single cover david like david did him they would cancel themselves out
    cuz like i posted in the first entry david won 85%of the games vs hakeem
    and look up head to head stats vs shaq till 99 davids and him have around the same avgs except in blocks were david owns shaq
    besides like someone mentioned shaq dominated smits and mutombo era not the ewing hakeem and robinson era

    btw love your “the admiral was destroyed by hakeem, there is a famous story of admiral asking help from rodman, and rod coldly said do your own job, you are grown man” that is total bs and u used it to blow this outta proportion.

    why do u think rodman was traded for a hot dog after that series????

  • Matt B

    TX
    I hear you on the era’s thing. But, everyone needs to understand that these guys were competing at the highest level against eachother (Wilt and Bill). THe thing is, (Read “The Rivalry”) Wilt was a force that we won’t see again and Russell beat him all the time. That was a 10-year epic battle. Those two helped define the league and they are without question both top 10 centers and players of all time. Kareem is just on another level. Skyhook was the first unstoppable move. There is no debate there all time. Shaq, D Rob, Hakeem, and Mikan can fight for 4th but it’s Hakeem for me. I understand that people haven’t seen these players extensively but if you’re a fan, you have too. Ihear people debating Oscar as a top PG of all time. There is no question its either him or Magic. Triple double career.

  • Ian

    and jackass i didnt assume shit from your post i just pointed out how (how can i say this without offending) dumb that comment was. i watched kareem play but then again u assumed im 20 and yes u can say whos the best ever without seeing him play. like i said jordan is the best ever only to people 27 and up then????

  • Three Stacks

    @ say it ain’t so — Wilt wasn’t that great from outside 10 feet either, does that make him any less of a center?

    If you put Shaq one on one against some of the greatest centers in history, Shaq probably loses out on a lot of the matchups. Kareem, Hakeem, even David Robinson had a much more complete skill set than Shaq.

    But Shaq was UNQUESTIONABLY the most dominant player in the NBA for 4-5 straight years. He put up absurd numbers, improved on them in the playoffs, won his MVP, won his rings….what else does the guy have to do to be considered among the best at his position?

  • Ian

    matt
    im with u in everything but i really dont think russell is better than
    admiral
    hakeem
    shaq
    kareem
    wilt

    even if he did beat wilt cuz comon now we have to factor in teammates this is the same argument people use to tell me hakeem OWNS david one series????? give me solid facts or is that the player on the best team gets the nod

  • QuEst??

    im gonna cry the day shaq retires, cuz im gonna feel old, the end of an era. none of the players that i grew up watching have retired (im 19) shaq will be the first one. it feels like a death in a family. Now when iverson retires i dont know what im gonna do. thats like a part ofme dying.

  • QuEst??

    i forgot…..fuck jameer nelson

  • Ian

    three stack
    u know what funny wilt said in an interview that if the three point line existed back then he woulda score 150 not 100 lol

  • Ian

    quEst?
    it happened to me with robinson and trust me im still not over it and it has been 5 seasons
    your fav player ever from day one shit u dont forget
    even when timmeh retires i wont care as much

  • Matt B

    Ian

    Russell did his job to the fullest. 15ppg and 22 reb per game for his career. Higher averages in the playoffs.He redefined the position. He is without question top 3. He had great players, no doubt about it, but everyone needs some to succeed. Look at MJ. Pippen is top 50 all time, Kareem had Oscar with the Bucks and then Magic, McAdoo, Worthy with the Lakers.

  • Ian

    matt
    im not sayin he sucks
    but hes the 6th best on my list thats pretty good bro
    but if i see the others that have better stats and more of a complete game i cant rank this man ahead of them
    i think the other would do the same or a better job in the same situation maybe not shaq cuz of the defense but the other would

  • kevin k

    Best
    1. Hakeem
    2. Shaq
    3. Bill Russell
    4. Wilt
    5. The Worm
    Dumbest
    1. Shaq
    2. Shaq
    3. Shaq
    4. Shaq
    5. The Worm

  • Ian

    btw the he redefined the postion doenst really matter cuzits been defined many times after that
    heck mourning that is a boderline hofer can do the same job just my opinion in case you and oldschool boston fan

  • Matt B

    Ian

    I understand that you can’t compare decades but the facts are, no one has more rings then that man. And he lead the team every time. I don’t know how else to say it.

  • junior

    to me hes behind in n particular order
    Kareem
    Hakeem
    Russel
    Wilt

  • Ian

    matt
    i understand your point but i said in my last post this is just an opinion thing between great players
    and imo i cant put him in my top5 but if u said he was the best ever u can make a strong case for him and no one can really say u r crazy

  • Matt B

    Ian

    Okay. I respect your approach here but Russell is in the top 3 without questions. Opinions aside it’s near fact

  • jackass

    admiral never won a chip, didn’t even come close to it. it was a blind luck that they got duncan out of lottery, just before he retires. that was some luck, that he got a ring.
    and he retires right after that. we all know how the declining big men performs. i don’t know if david had a lot to do with that ring, at that age, right before retirement party. so i am gonna argue that he didn’t exactly deserve a ring. hell he never even went to the finals. if he went to the finals and lost to mj and the bulls, i would understand, that could be an argument of hakeem vs d rob. hakeem won back to back, by being the best defensive and offensive force on the court. period…

  • Ian

    wow near fact dont say that
    great players usually have reason why they could be the best ever in their position but when the comp is this close no one is near fact top 3
    all this players mentioned here are top 10 sure but the player u say is number one can be 10 on another list and also be right

  • http://GEE2.com GEE…#$%%!#$!

    Shaq top 20 of all time.

    I am so glad and can’t wait for 2010 to get here.
    Praise JESUS!

    Bout time!

  • jace

    as a coach.. u might want wilt in the middle. but as a player and a spectator.. im thinking shaq is the way to go. shaqs a funny guy. not only does he have the right stats to be considered the best center ever… he has the right quotes too. im not saying likability is a factor here.. but when you think about best center in the nba.. shaq does more for your team than just stats.. he puts the city/fans/teammates on his back too.

    consider the nba game rules have changed since then.. and the overall talent of the league as a whole then and now. the nba mightve been rougher back then… but considering they keep adding rules.. you could say that maybe its harder to get stats like those nowadays.

    but then again.. maybe im biased cuz i wasnt born to see the other players play. sooo.. fuck it.

  • Matt B

    Ian

    How can you have D Rob, a guy who won a title only cuz of Duncan above a guy who helped shape the league, 10 titles, MVPs, dealt with a racist Boston crowd, I mean its crazy. Hakeem was great and better then D Rob but only Wilt and Kareem can be dicussed as better then Russell. IMO Kareem is the best of the three.

  • Joe

    I’m sorry, I just don’t understand the argument that because player A (Hakeem, Robinson, Ewing, etc.) had a better overall skill set, it makes him a better player than Shaq.

    While it’s true that Shaq has no jump shot, and really no moves outside of 8 feet, he was still UNSTOPPABLE. Why on earth would you want to take a 15ft jumper when you could just as easily dunk it?

    Think about it, every player in the league knows that Shaq has no game out of the paint, and yet nobody could stop him…..hell, nobody could even slow him down

  • Ian

    jackass wow u really got some facts messed up

    he wasnt close to the finals and didnt deserve aring hahahahahahahahah the stats of the 99 season were the same stats duncan posted he was the co-leader of the team and duncan wasnt still ahead of him
    another thing he didnt decline like olajuwon he was very productive till his last game vs the nets 13 pts and 17 rebs olajuwon couldnt do that in a week in his last season

    and i cant believe all that bs u posted but then again since u prob didnt see 80s basketball let me tell u
    did u know that the same situation duncan landed in good team with a star was the same situation olajuwon landed in with sampson

    u can use 95 series as your only excuse as hakeem over david but i can point out facts that says davis was better in his prime and hakeem has better totals

    david meant more to a team than any other player in the league (examples worst team in the league gets robinson they are title contenders robinson injures his back boom duncan, ewing injury the knicks made the finals , jordan retires bulls second round) so yeah he didnt win in his prime but he carried more of a load than the other superstars
    david owned the first team all nba and defensive first teams in his prime
    david won more awards than hakeem
    and again he won almost all the games he played vs the rockets

    so u tell me why with facts not some research u did that hakeem won a series vs david, u say hakeem owned the admiral?

  • smity far away

    Hakeem is my favorite center of all time and i think better than shaq, robinson and ewing.

    so,

    russell
    wilt
    kareem
    hakeem
    shaq

  • John

    The question is, when you put the list of best centers in their prime, who do you choose ? Ewing 1993, Shaq 2000, Dream 1994, Russel , Wilt ,,, Kareen ,,, I think that Shaq would destroy everyone of them because of his size ,,, There is no men alive or death that could match Shaq 2000 in body language ,,, Then you have to ask about the career, and cats like Russel, Wilt and Jabbar, have more nunbers on their side. But remenber, Shaq went to the finals with the Magic, them 4 times with the Lakers, then with the Heat ,,,, and his only 1 MVP its ridiculous ,,,,

  • Ian

    matt
    lol he won cuz of duncan hahaha and duncan didnt win cuz of david???? someone else said it here
    shaq won cuz of kobe and kobe cuz of shaq
    so pleaseeeeee dont go with that stupid bs that some player won cuz of another when he wasnt the 12th man
    so russell had the best team so hes the best ever good argument

    tim duncan 99
    21ppg 11rpg
    david robinson 99
    15ppg and 10rpg
    sure looks like timmeh carried robinson
    comon get real
    tell how many cant miss players are drafted and get to play with a superstar that lets your nba transition be as smooth as that not many

    jordan carried pippen by your logic pippen didnt desearve shit
    magic carried worthy and kareem they didnt desearve shit
    bird carried mchale and parish and walton they didnt desearve shit
    right?

  • Ian

    john
    shaqs one award and timmeh 2 are a joke those two shoulda won all of the mvps since 99

  • dc

    i’m putting the diesel in the top three as far as greatest centers of all time because he was simply unstoppable in his prime. in my opinion, he’s in the top 10 of greatest players of all time, but not just because of the stats. the crazy thing is, one has to ask the question, “could he have been number 1 across the board if he had been motivated to stay in shape?” just throwin it out there.

  • GarethChantler

    the opposite of what hans and TX originally said is true: Shaq, more than any other player, has been unfairly refereed to his disadvantage. When Shaq touches a guy were it would be a no call with someone else, its a foul on Shaq, when he actually fouls someone, its a flagrant. When Shaq gets fouled, a foul on any other player, its a no call. Shaq gets to the line when people jump on him and slam down on his arms. Check the tapes from 98-02, when Shaq gets fouled in those games, esp in the playoffs he just takes an absolute beating. Just b/c the man can take it doesn’t mean he’s fairly reffed.

  • Ian

    and jackass not only did david remain productive till the end did u know that in 00 playoffs when timmeh was injured he avg 26ppg as a old man with a bad back

  • bballinca

    Shaq has announced his retirement to enter the world of Double Stuffed Oreo Cookie eating competition. On his own he will take on the reigning Manning brothers as well as the Williams’ sisters.

  • jackass

    carrying a load, winning awards blah blah blah… they don’t mean shit until you win a chip by yourself. his ring is as meaningless as it could get. ala payton style. and you know it. meaning more to a team… lol you sound like bob costa on a mission.

    and wtf sampson has to do with hakeem???? it’s not like he is a champion cause of sampson or something. you’ve been brainwashed by the nba and its media dude. lol david was educated and charismatic, he had a perfect image of nba’s golden child, so he goes on to win so many awards. and he was a good/decent all star so what??? you are an idiot to say he is better than shaq or hakeem. everyone knows it, even your mother knows it, but she loves you too much to admit it.

  • Ian

    jackass u sure picked the righ nick it suits u
    i cant believe all the shit im reading from a little boy (cuz thats what u sound like)
    i cant have my own opinion? and u kid are a retard sayin david won like payton when david was still an allstar in 99 and was the second best player on the team

    so like i said i guess pippen and all those other stars dont desearve shit

    u dont need to answer with some more stupid shit just gtfoh

    “his ring is as meaningless as it could get. ala payton style. and you know it” we can measure your iq with this line

  • Ian

    hey jackass kobe has never won also cuz those are meaningless
    lol idiot

  • Thaisito

    hahahahahaha jackass the admirals rings worthless and he didnt deserve them hahahahahaha
    you sir are one stupid fuck

  • TJ

    The guy who said “Duncan > Shaq” is insane.

  • justice

    hakeem used to eat robinson’s and anybody else’s ass(no homo)..d rob would give him a little trouble back, but the dream was just that the dream!! what an era

  • English Off The Board

    @ Kevin K

    You have Shaq as four spots in your top ‘Top 5 Dumb Centres’

    yet no mention of Samuel Dalambert?

    He was like the love child of Stephen Hawking and Maurice Green.

    Cept he got Stephens motor skills and Maurices mental capacity.

    d’oh.

  • ERIC

    Out of sight, out of mind?

    Go to youtube and check out Wilt clips. He is the MDE, not Shaq.

    Shaq is definitely a top 5 center who, with his electric personality and the 90s media coverage, made a huge impact on basketball.

    CENTERS
    Wilt
    Kareem
    Russell
    Shaq
    Hakeem

  • Three Stacks

    Even if it’s kinda unfair to judge the entire “Hakeem vs Robinson” matchup based on one series (’95 Western finals), that series was a pretty big deal. The Spurs went into the playoffs with the best record in the L, he won the MVP that year, and everyone was expecting him to take down Olajuwon and the Rockets, who were a 5 or 6 seed, I think.

    It was still a close series, and the Rockets were the defending champs, but Robinson got destroyed in the spotlight. If people remember Hakeem as being better than Robinson, this is probably the biggest reason.

  • Jonny Drama

    @doc

    I think if Shaq had really committed himself to staying and shape and improving his FT%, he could definitely be top 3 of all time and have a chance to challenge Jordan for the GOAT. It’s sad that we’ll never really know what Shaq was fully capable of.

  • Thaisito

    three stack
    yup u r right
    but the year the rockets to out 3 utah
    2 suns
    1 spurs 1 orlando not just the spurs

    but like i said in all my post is an opinion thing and i rather have david in his prime i really dont know what the prob is with posting an opinion

    but u r right the spurs were the favs thats were the big deal comes from and the before that the spurs owned the rockets all time
    but u look at stats and everythng they did and its close

    tj i have duncan on an alltime list higher than shaq also

  • Big V

    He’s only retiring so he can continue to stalk that video chick….

  • Thaisito

    three stacks
    now remember they were a 6th seed cuz of injuries and the drexler thing so they werent a true middle of the pack team they were elite and u cant judge players like u said that way cuz the better team would almost always win

  • Ian

    heheh big v he needs full time for that

  • drewstar

    i would have shaq ranked 5th behind wilt, russell, hakeem, and kareem.

  • Tyrone

    The big Diesel’s the real deal y’all. Dude’s terrorized a whole buncha rockin’ centers through his career. Gotsa go down as of the da game’s greatest ever, y’all. Much respek.

    True thugz never lie.
    Tyrone

  • http://myspace.com/bigfreeze101 Big Freeze

    Big Shaq takes shits bigger than most of yall. Show some respect. He is a top 5 center no doubt.

  • Jah

    In my opinion, the best center I’ve ever seen perform is Hakeem Olajuwon.

    Shaquille O’Neal dominated in a time where the NBA Center was a rare breed.

    Olajuwon gave the following the BUSINESS:
    – David Robinson
    – Patrick Ewing
    – Shaquille O’Neal
    – a host of others whose names I cannot recall

    In my personal opinion, Hakeem Olajuwon (in his prime) is the best center to ever play basketball.

    Shaquille O’Neal is definitely a top-3 choice. Perhaps behind Kareem Abdul-Jabar.

  • dapro

    Shaq is a freak athlete the likes of which we may never see again

    The big man was nible, strong and dominating

    He is more skilled than people give him credit for

    In terms of the Best 5’s I have him 3rd behind Dream and Kareem. I look at how the legends played against their rivals or opponents of that era. Shaq dominated when the center position was still pretty strong. Shaq is a top 10 player but I don’t know where I would rank him

  • English Off The Glass

    Shawn Bradley!!!
    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • mike

    whatever, you can’t blame the guy for being big. No one says “Allen iverson is just fast” or “Lebron is just athletic”. Everyone uses what God gave them, the fact that he was a thick 7 footer who was light on his feet can’t be blamed on him.

    And if he was so good just because he was big, he would still be good. But you see now just how much quickness he has lost.

    Also, anyone who says refs helped shaq needs to think about how hard people hit him without it even fazing him. Dude would take a lot of punishment without fouls being called.

    He is on the all-time team.
    Wilt, Kareem, Shaq…any of them would be the #1 center on any given day in their prime.

  • English Off The Glass

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEi-Wm0OFII&feature=related

    Sorry to break out the copy paste, but you want proof of Shawn Bradleys undeniable prensence in the paint, watch this.
    Ha Ha shaq pooped down Bradleys chimney.

    Hold out your stockings kids.

  • Dagomar

    WILT (obviously).
    Shaq (natural talent beats Dream’s skill and Russell’s heart).
    Dream (bested a YOUNG Shaq, not sure if he could have handled Shaq in his prime).
    Russell (should probably be higher, but wasn’t good enough on offense to be higher than Dream or Shaq imho).
    Kareem (did everything so well).

  • Dagomar

    By the way I don’t think you can really go wrong with having any of those guys in your top give in any order.

  • Three Stacks

    A good way to argue Shaq isn’t the best of all time would be to pretend you were picking a squad to play a game with your life on the line. Would ANYONE in their right mind pick Shaq for their starting 5 if their life was at risk? What if the game is close and your life depends on Shaq hitting a couple free throws?

    If for one game, everything on the line, I have to pick a center for my team, it’s probably Kareem. Probably. But Shaq isn’t coming anywhere near that team.

    And I’m surprised no one has even mentioned Bill Walton yet. I’d take Walton over George Mikan anyday, lol.

  • barons beard

    How Shaq has less regular season MVPs than Nash is quite staggering, its criminal, the guy is the most dominant player of all-time and easily a top 3 centre in my books

    Not as skilled as the likes of Hakeem or Kareem, but just as effective. If his dominance was purely a matter of size, then Big Country Reeves and Shawn Bradley would be the 2 and 3

    Shame Sabonis came to the L too late, if he had come over in his early 20’s he would definately have had top 5 potential

  • DeGuy

    all that shaq is:

    1. most big headed
    2. most chubby
    3. most brick throwing

    center of all time…

  • re

    Best center of all time.

  • http://karanmadhok.blogspot.com karan

    imagine a fantasy draft, where you can pick any player of any generation as a rookie…
    i’d take MJ first
    shaq second
    thats how great shaq is

  • heartbreaker85

    quit hating on shaq, if you were in a gym and could pick anyone to be your center, who’d you get?

    duncan (he’s skilled, but people can guard him one on one) ditto with hakeem, ewing (who was never even close to being “the man” it was starks and lj then h2o and spree), robinson (good soldier, couldn’t win shit before the duncan era)?

    it’s a no brainer. if i were asked to pick a team of my choice it would be:

    sg – mj
    sf – lebron
    pf – rodman (someone’s gotta rebound!)
    c – shaq

    with me as the point guard. damn those guys would make me look good and average 20+ assists all the time.

  • karizmatic

    centers
    Wilt
    Kareem
    Russell
    Hakeem
    Shaq

    players
    Jordan
    Magic
    Bird
    Wilt
    Russell
    Robertson
    Hakeem
    Duncan
    Shaq

  • the mamba

    I heard sabonis was crazy good when he was young. If only he had come to the nba earlier

  • vf1rj

    Shaq is one of the most physically gifted bigman of any era. He may not have the soft touches that of Hakeem or Kareem, but Shaq was just as effective. Shaq draws defenders which means easy basket for his teammates. Kobe is considered one of the best today because of his 3 championships, but let me point out that in all those titles, Shaq was always the Finals MVP. So, Shaq may not have won if Kobe was not there, or if Phil Jackson was not coach, such argument will never be resolved. But it is an undeniable fact that when the Lakers had a 3-peat, Shaq was their MVP.

    Shaq versus other great centers is an unfair argument because today’s players are far more athletic than the players from the 60s,70s,80s, and yes, even the 90s. Today’s players are more muscular, on average taller, can jump higher, can run faster. In short, current players are more athletic.

    Judging Shaq in the “best ever center” argument should depend on his impact for his team and the rest of the league. He went to the Olando Magics who were a below .500 team, and in three years Shaq took them to the NBA Finals, while posting incredible numbers. Shaq was not “schooled” by Hakeem in their Finals match. The Magics were scoring at will inthe first half of game 1, but the rest of the Magics choked (especially the consecutive freethrow misses of Nick anderson) which allowed the Rockets to catch up and eventually win. The Magics never recovered, and they were swept. But only because the magics were inexperienced. Shaq was very young then. He was in way over his head. But his numbers was still very incredible.

    In the Lakers, Shaq was 3-time Finals MVP, which should be enough to determine whick Laker then was “the man”. No question. Kobe, especially in the first championship was very raw, and had more bad games. he was OK in the second title, but Shaq was still Batman, Kobe was Robin. Kobe had a better scoring output than Shaq in their 3rd title, but Shaq still won Finals MVP. Although Kobe can make a case that he should have won, but Shaq was clearly more consistent, and the only reason kobe piled in more points is because he shot the ball more. Shaq’s field goal percentage is so much higher than kobe’s.

    In Miami, Shaq’s contribution was readily apparent when in his first year as a Heat, he went neck and neck against Steve Nash for MVP honors which Nash eventually won. But that says a lot of Shaq’s impact. In his second year, they won, Shaq contributed with great performances throughout the playoffs and Finals(not just the last finals game). It was only during Shaq’s last year as a Heat that his contribution was seriously questioned, but that is only because his touches were initnionally limited.

    As a Sun, Shaq leads the team in rebounds, blocks, field goal percentage, and is second in scoring. He was able to adopt to the current return of the Suns’ “run and gun”, averaging above average numbers in their first three games with Gentry as head coach, even if he takes fewer shots than 3 or 4 other Sun players. The Suns need Shaq come playoffs because he brings with him size which the Suns lack, especially now that Amare Stoudemire is out for the rest of the season with an eye injury.

    The best way to sum up Shaq’s career is to list his past accomplishments, which are as follows:
    4x NBA Champ
    1x NBA MVP
    3x Finals MVP
    13x All-NBA team selection (8x in 1st team)
    3x All-defensive team
    15x All-star
    3x All-star MVP
    1x World basketball Champ
    1x World Basketball championship MVP
    1x Rookie of the Year
    1x Olympic Gold Medalist
    currently #7 in all-time career points, can potentially (given current trend) reach top 5 at the end of the 2009 season.
    currently #2 in all-time field goal percentage leader
    is among the all-time elite in blocks and rebounds (and his totals are still undetermined, will revisit at the end of his career).

    Clearly, all the above stats sh beould enough to make an argument for Shaq to be among the top Centers of All-time.

    Oh, Do I believe Shaq will retire in 2010? I do not know. All I know is, he has a lot left in the tank, any team will benefit signing him after his contract with the SUns and it will be a great loss for the NBA if he chooses to retire in 2010.

  • Dave

    Im sorry, but its hard for me to gauge Wilt, Russell, Mikan and those because they played in a timeperiod where guys that size and strength didnt really exist and the league was still a baby. Wilt was without question the Shaq of his day, Russell was a defensive superpower and led the greatest Celtics team ever to a ridiculous number of championships, and Mikan was the first real center to play in the league, but those guys would NOT NOT NOT be as dominant in a league if they had played in the 80’s, 90’s and today’s era because the athleticism is SO much greater and the center position is much more common than it was prior.

    People like Hakkem, DRob, Shaq and Ewing would have held their own against those guys, especially russell and Mikan (I think Mikan in today’s game would be very average, and Russell would be a slightly less aggressive version of ben wallace).

  • Eddie

    Wow! I know I’m adding this comment WAY after the discussion has ended. But I can’t leave this board without commenting. I can’t leave the BS undisputed.
    First, Shaq WAS a dominant center. Who cares about free throws at the end of the game if you’re already 20 points up before the final minutes? Seriously. Shaq was a beast and you HAD to play team defense on him. Second, Russel IS the best center of all time. Just ask Shaq, Robinson, Hakeem, etc. They ALL admit that Russel was the man. If even they count Russel as better, why would you guys argue it? The guy had THREE 40-rebound playoff games and was the first to average 20+rebounds per game (in his ROOKIE SEASON!). 11 rings in 13 season, 5 as the league MVP. Best ever. Period. You guys are all posers for suggesting anything otherwise. Thirdly, Hakeem didn’t own David Robinson. In the 94-95 playoffs Robinson played with a broken tarsal. That’s why he couldn’t cover Hakeem’s “dream shake”. It had nothing to do with teams or dominance. Robinson was injured. The pure numbers don’t lie, though. That’s why Robinson was the IBM player of the year 5 years in a row. Nobody meant more to his team in that era – not even Jordan. Robinson took a team that had 5 straight losing seasons and LOST 61 games in 1988 and immediately made them contenders. They had a (then) record turnaround and won 56 games the next year. The next time the Spurs played ball without Robinson (96-97) they again lost 61 of their games. It may have been luck that the Spurs landed Duncan, but it wasn’t coincidence that the two seasons between 1988-2003 that the Spurs played without Robinson they lost a combined 122 games. Yet WITH Robinson (and very frequently very little else) they were a perenial contender. Duncan just provided the little extra to get them over the hump. Take the Admiral out of the game and Duncan wouldn’t have won it either with the surrounding cast. I mean, come on! David Robinson scored 71 points to win the scoring title playing alongside guys like Jack Haley, Vinny Del Negro,
    Lloyd Daniels, Chris Whitney, etc. If your reaction is “WHO???” That’s exactly my point! He played with NOBODY! His most talented teamate was a crazed-out Dennis Rodman NOT in his glory years like back in Chicago. Robinson Dominated his era like nobody since Bill Russel. And that was an era that included Hakeem, Ewing, Shaq, Parish, Mourning, Mutombo, etc. He played real talent and beat the crap out of them. It’s fun for the younger crowd to say that Shaq dominated David, but it just isn’t true. It took YEARS before Shaq got even his first win against David. THAT’S why Shaq disliked David. Not some stupd story about not getting his autograph as a kid. You guys really think David Robinson (Saint David as he was on SI’s cover) would have treated a kid poorly who wanted his autograph? No way. Shaq didn’t come up with that story til his 17th straight loss to David. SEVEN-FREAKING-TEEN! David is at least #4 all time. Per game and per minute stats prove it. When you take the caliber of teamates into account and how many triple and quadruple-teams he faced it’s even more amazing. He was Dwight Howard before Dwight Howard was Dwight Howard – only WAY better. Finally, Wilt the stilt Chamberlain. The guy scored 100 points in one game. 100! And he AVERAGED 50.4 points per game that year along with 25.7 Rebounds! I don’t care how crappy the competition is, you’d be hard-pressed to put up those numbers against collegiate-level competition! They guy deserves his place at #2. And the only reason he didn’t have more rings is because he played in the Bill Russel era. Who the heck could beat that dynasty? Obviously, nobody since they won 11 titles in 13 years. Beyond those four men, however, the only other center that belongs in the discussion is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He also played real competition and came out ahead. He wasn’t just an also-ran with the Lakers. He was their go-to guy. It wasn’t Worthy, Scott, or Cooper. Magic covered sometimes, but mostly it was Kareem. When he retired he was the all-time NBA leader in NINE statistical categories, including points scored.

    So, here’s the only way I see the top five can go in terms of dominance.

    1. Bill Russel 35 and 40 rebounds!
    2. Wilt Chamberlain 50.4 points & 25.7 boards for a SEASON!
    3. Kareem Abdul Jabbar all-time leader in … everything
    4. David Robinson Quadruple Double, Only player in NBA history to lead the NBA in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, and win NBA MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year in his career
    5. Shaq O’Neal – nobody can really say they’d want to face the Big Diesel in his prime. Except for the guys ranked 1 – 4!

    Hakeem deserves mention in this list. Other than that, the other centers are just really good, not great. Mikan, Walton, Ewing, Parish, Nance, Ming, etc. Howard could get there, but only time will tell.

    Okay, guys. If anyone reads this it will have been worth the time to write it. Have a good one and keep loving the sport. The NBA – I love this game!

  • Gabriel C. Jones

    Heres a list of great basketball players Micheal Jordan, Lebron James,Paul Pierce, Kobe Bryant, Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, Shawn Marion, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone, Reggier Miller, Dennis Rodman, Hakeem Olajuwan, Ankinji Mutombo, Mo Williams, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille Oneal, Dwight Howard, Antwan Jamison, tracy Mcgrady,

    Now suppose Micheal Jordan had the roster that Cavs have now do you still think he would of won 6 title rings

    Micheal Jordan,Shaquille Oneal,Mo williams,Antwan Jamison, Delonte West, Leon Powe, Jamario Moon, Varajao

    Cavs include Lebron James,Scottie Pippen,Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, Toni Kukoc