NBA / Aug 4, 2010 / 11:30 am

The Power Of Shaq: Just Ask Penny, Kobe, D-Wade & LeBron

Photo. Ryan Hurst (@NBA_Photos)

Assuming that Shaquille O’Neal is definitely headed to Boston now, it will be interesting to see the affect that he has on his new teammates. Having already played with Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, I tried to find a way to quantify what I call “The Power Of Shaq.” With that said, let’s look at the achievements of his co-stars throughout his career.

Shaq’s tenure in Orlando: 1992-1996
Penny Hardaway: 2× NBA All-Star (1995–1996), 2× All-NBA First Team (1995–1996), NBA All-Rookie First Team (1994)

Shaq’s tenure in Los Angeles: 1996-2004
Kobe Bryant: 3× NBA Champion (2000-2002), 6× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2004), 3× All-NBA First Team (2002–2004), 2× All-NBA Second Team (2000–2001), All-NBA Third Team (1999), 3× All-Defensive First Team (2000, 2003–2004), 2× All-Defensive Second Team (2001–2002), NBA All-Rookie Second Team (1997)

Shaq’s tenure in Miami: 2004-2008
Dwyane Wade: NBA Champion (2006), NBA Finals MVP (2006), 2× NBA All-Star (2005–2006), 2× All-NBA Second Team (2005–2006), All-NBA Third Team (2007), All-Defensive Second Team (2005)

Shaq’s tenure in Cleveland: 2009-2010
LeBron James: NBA Most Valuable Player (2010), NBA All-Star (2010), All-NBA First Team (2010), All-Defensive First Team (2010)

What do you think? Which player (at that time in their career) benefitted the most from playing alongside Shaq?

Follow Aron on Twitter at @the_real_aron.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.

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  • Heckler

    @ Aron–

    In theory this article made sense. But in reality these players were allstar level talent with and without Shaq.

    The “Power of Shaq” is best served when discussing guys like Dennis Scott. Who when he played beside Shaq, set (a then) NBA record for 3ptrs made in a season.

    Damon Jones and Jason Kapono led the NBA in 3pt shooting percentage when they played with Shaq.

    Ron Harper won more championships with Shaq.

    The TRUE “power of shaq” should be how ROLE players produce playing along side him; not allstars

  • Andy

    Mark Madsen

  • Sporty-j

    Dont know what the point of this article is??? I guess hes going to now turn Rondo, R.Allen. Pierce, and Garnett into all-stars with his Kazame movie POWERS???

  • kg fan

    amare… oh wait nevermind

  • Darius

    Most people would say Penny was helped the most because he fell off. But that was due to injuries not Shaq’s departure. Kobe benefited the most because he wouldnt of beat the Pacers or the Sixers in the finals & wouldnt of been able to get past the Kings. Back then Kobe wasnt in the category for best player in the league. That was held between Shaq, A.I, & Tim Duncan

  • http://www.cnnsi.com JAY

    I’m with heckler. The guys listed in the article were all-stars in their own right. You can also make write an article titled “The Power of Penny/Kobe/Wade/James” and list Shaq as a beneficiary.

    For a more impressive article, point out the effects Shaq had with role players and show stats with and without Shaq. I haven’t looked up the stats but I’ll go out on a limb and say Kobe, Wade and James are probably averaging almost identical numbers with and without the Big Doughboy. and I’ll bet Penny was close to his numbers before his injuries.

  • nola

    i hope you’re willing to take some criticism on this article because it makes no sense… it’s like giving kevin garnett the credit for making paul pierce the player he is now that kg is on the team? i dont know, just sounds stupid to be honest…

  • Jerry

    @1 comment: You are absolutely right. All the players mentioned were playing at all-star levels. Obviously shaq made their jobs easier BUT that doesnt mean shaq took a Kobe who was nobody and made him into the Kobe of today….But ya looking at the Role players would make much more sense….OR looking at the players post/pre-Shaq arrival vs Shaq years


    Shaq benefited the most because Kobe was morphing into a baby Jordan!

  • Celts Fan

    I’d say Kobe was helped the most. At that point, he was no better than TMac (not an insult, TMac was legit back then.) If those 2 switched teams, TMac would have 3 rings now and Kobe certainly wouldn’t be at 5. No doubt he’d’ve ascended to where he’s at now, but he wouldn’t have had the rings to make the case to put him in the Jordan discussion soon…

  • Celts Fan

    @everyone hating on Dime, you guys make a solid point that maybe the article shoulda focused on role players, but up until he left Miami (and even sporadically afterwards) his mere MDE presence forced teams to double him, thus allowing all-star wings to be single-covered. When you allow great one-on-one players to play without a constant double-team, bad things are gonna happen to you. That was a direct effect of Shaq being around.

  • Fog Raw

    What nola said.

  • Shakers

    Shaq has played/will play with quite a list of NBA stars in his career:

    Point Guards: Penny, GP, Nash
    Shooting Guards: Kobe, Wade, Ray
    Small Forwards: Lebron, Pierce
    Power Forwards: Ho Grant, Malone, Amare, KG

  • Gage

    Lol. The power of Shaq. To do what? Cause lockerroom strife, and make sure each one of these players doesn’t miss him AT ALL? And I don’t think Steve Nash was crying either.

  • HoopsFanMike

    You can write another article called ‘The Power of Shaq’s Mouth’

    Seriously, Penny was maybe the only one that remotely profited off having Shaq. Kobe, Wade and to a lesser extent LeBron, because Shaq was already old, saw their numbers lessened a great deal, especially Kobe.

    If Shaq wasn’t on the Lakers there is no doubt that Kobe would have won a couple of MVP’s those years…

  • Joe’s Momma

    Shaq need those perimeter players just as much as they needed Shaq. It was a balanced relationship. Without an all world talent on the wing, this dude will put up 40+ points, but the rings would be non-exhisted.

    Shaq got doubled everytime in his prime, if he had to kick it out to Richard Hamilton instead of Kobe, he don’t have 3 rings. No offense, Rip is good, but Kobe and Wade are on a different level.

    And TMac??? I don’t think so. When Shaq fouled out against Indy, it was Kobe who dominated the 4th and overtime. TMac had one clutch game when he was down 11 with a minute to go. Kobe plays defense, TMac doesn’t. Kobe wins a game 7 going 6/24 and 15 boards, TMac doesn’t. No one bashes MJ for going 15/35 against Utah in 1998 game 6

    Shaq was dominant, but he needed an all world wing to help get him those rings. Shaq by himself doesn’t, Kobe by himself doesn’t, Wade by himself doesn’t, LBJ by himself didn’t.

    And why is Shaq wearing Sheed’s dirty 30?

  • Joe’s Momma

    I love Dime, but after reading that again, it is silly.

    You are giving Shaq credit for Wade going berzerk on Dallas and winning the MVP?

    You are giving Shaq credit for LBJ winning his second MVP? Shaq probably gets credit for LBJ winning his first when he wasn’t even on the same team.

    You are giving Shaq credit for those perimeter guys putting in work defensively on the perimeter?

    I don’t get it. Shaq deserves credit, but you are trying to take away credit from the other guys saying Shaq helped them immensely instead of those guys actually putting in work and becoming great players in their own right. Shaq did help, but not to the extent that this article is trying to give him.

    And the answer to your question is Kobe, dude got 3 rings with prime Shaq. No one else comes close. Wade is a distant 2nd with that lone ring. Then Penny, then LBJ.

    But all those guys were stars with him and without him.

    How many rings does Shaq have without those guys?

  • Ekstor

    @ Celts Fan,

    I agree that Kobe was equal to TMac back in the day, but what you’re not stating is that TMac was considered the best perimeter player in the L at that time, so that puts Kobe and TMac as the best guards in the league. That said, to say TMac would be where Kobe is now if their roles were reversed assumes that TMac possesses the same work ethic, competitiveness, and durability as Kobe, which he CLEARLY does not.

    Kobe has outlasted many other guards who were at one time or another considered equals (or even superior) including Penny, Sprewell, TMac, VC, Arenas, etc.

  • karizmatic

    I agree the article has no real point. But on the other hand, I would continue to argue for those that want to dispute “the power of Shaq”, that Kobe would not have at least 3 of his 5 rings without Shaq, and Wade certainly wouldn’t have his ring without Shaq. Shaq really did nothing for Lebron.

    But I think he was more responsible for those 3 Lakers championships than Kobe was…and at the time when he won with Miami, Shaq was still such a presence that you could not double Wade effectively allowing Wade to eat up opposing teams. To say there is no power of Shaq for those guys is ridiculous. The question is how many people think right now Shaq wouldn’t still probably have four rings if he had never played with Wade or Kobe?

    I do and I think those guys would have considerably less rings without him. There is something to be said for a guy who goes the the NBA finals with the Magic, goes to LA wins 3 rings after a couple of years and then goes to Miami and wins another one. To say that there is no power of Shaq for the stars is ridiculous. Lets not forget that any way you slice it Shaq was in 5 NBA finals in 7 years and during that seven year stretch he picked up 4 rings. There definitely is a power of Shaq…even for the stars, and I think when everything is said and done even Kobe and Wade would have to recognize that. Kobe might not ever say it, but he knows it’s true.

  • Big Island

    Shaq used to make a team, and make guys better. Not anymore though. If Shaq had worked hard on his game, he would have gone down as the greatest player in the history of the game. Nobody could have touched him. After getting his ass whipped by Hakeem in the Finals, he could’ve put work in and it would’ve been lights out.

    The guys he’s played with, only Kobe and Nash have done everything they can to get better. I am not a Kobe fan at all, but you can’t say he hasn’t done everything he could to be the best he could possibly be. T-Mac could’ve been better than he is. VC too. Penny got injured so you can’t say. In his heyday, Shaq was the man, but he could’ve been better.

  • Ekstor


    The reverse is also very easily arguable… if we can agree that players like Penny (pre-injury), Kobe, Wade, and LBJ are elite wing players with or without Shaq, then it’s easy to argue that Shaq can’t win it (or even go deep into the playoffs) without an elite wing player.

  • karizmatic

    @ Ekstor

    I disagree…to put it more directly I’m arguing that you could have put Shaq with any of these guys or any of the next 10 players in the league and won rings (VC, AI,Paul Pierce etc. I don’t think you can say that about any of the other guys with certainty. No other guys in that era went to 5 nba finals and 7 conference finals in seven years. Sure they are elite wing players but look how many we can name who were at or above that level.

    At the time the Lakers won 3 straight with Kobe, he was no better than T MAC VC, or AI, and not appreciably better than Paul Pierce, Allan Houston, Sprewell, or Ray Allen. I’m arguing that if you put Shaq with any of those guys you get a ring or two…likely at the expense of a Kobe or a Wade. You can argue that all those guys are elite wing players. But the real question which everyone is dancing around is whether you really think those guys had more impact on the game than Shaq in his prime. I say Shaq was the most dominant force to hit the league in his prime and no one would have had more impact than him.

    You take any team from those 7 years replace a player with Shaq and I’m willing to bet that team still gets to at least the conference finals. We’re talking about Shaq…they guy who used to regularly put up 40 points and 20 rebounds in games when the Lakers needed it. Even while being double teamed. People may not recall, but Shaq still had to be doubled when he was on the Heat because if you didn’t he was still a threat to put up 30 on one guy. Udonis Haslem made a career out of hitting 13-15 foot jumpshots off Shaq double teams. No I disagree the reverse is not at all easily arguable.

  • LakeShow84

    LMAO CeltsFan would say Kobe benefitted the most..

    Still simmering i see :)

  • LakeShow84

    Everyone saying Kobe was JUST as Tmac back in the day is nutz..

    Tracy McGrady wasnt winning First Defensive honors for the #2 spot that was all Kobes..

    Tracey McGrady was liable to go for 30+ every night.. That was about it.. He had the similar stats in rebounds and assists but Kobes was a DEFENSIVE STOPPER back then.. And for the record Shaq aint help with that at all..

    And while McGrady was clutch we’ll never know how clutch he was seeing he aint NEVER closed out a Finals game.. Which Kobe also did..

    And Shaq dont win shit in LA without Kobe PERIOD and Shaq dont win shit in Miami without Wade going berserk and channelling his best MJ impersonation..

  • Promoman

    Heckler had it right. These players were/are elite players without Shaq. How’d Eddie Jones escape mention?

  • Heckler

    Shaq is going to wear #36 in Boston

  • M Intellect

    Shaq was a monster but to say Kobe could’ve been replaced with T-Mac is stupid.

    People forget that he had Yao Ming who was far and away a Top 2 centre who was doubled also and they couldn’t even get out of the 2st round, even with a prime Ron Artest.

    I love the way people just sleep on Kobe so bad. People say Boston didn’t win shit in ’09 because James fuckin’ Posey went to NO even though Rondo, Allen and PP were about but they can’t give a 25-5-5-1 Kobe partial credit for winning those titles with the Shaq.

    What more does he have to do to just get recognized for what he has achieved.

  • pureair23

    Anyone else remember the suns and still MVP candidate Nash, helped them miss the playoffs, but this tool negates to add that to the article. This guy is an idiot, as if Shaq had anything to do with Lebron Shames success last year. What a Douche !!!

  • Bub

    It has got to be Penny or Kobe. As good as Kobe was/is, i dont believe he would have a total of five rings or even have gotten past the Kings without Shaq. Shaqs mere presence alone in his prime made the league change its rules, think about how hard of a game it was to officiate when he was in his prime, wait tim donaughy found it to be pretty easy…

  • snuffkin

    shaq benefited form those guys too. shaq’s orlando would have not reach the finals without penny. it’s even arguable that penny played a little better than shaq in orlando. imo penny performed better during the playoffs but he was a victim of injuries and luck. kobe is holding his own right now, and im expecting he will get his 6th ring this season. even though there’s the miami big 3, the lakers are still the team to beat considering their line-up and acquisitions. but still shaq and kobe were still the best duo post jordan-pippen. i think wade benefited the most. nothing to take against wade, but shaq’s presence that time (post LA) is considered enough to be contender status. he was young that time, and with shaq he excelled more and got the ring. if shaq didnt go to miami imo wade will not be mvp good (maybe just a little above all star good). and for lebron it’s hard to say he got a lot from shaq. it only lasted a year, they got flushed in the 2nd round, and LBJ would still win the mvp without shaq. plus you forgot nash and amare, which lasted longer than LBJ and shaq.

  • http://www.casadavizinha.eu/index.php/member/1475/ Brendon Speier

    Kobe can dominate the entire opposing team easily if he wants to.. just like that. He is the most Jordan like player ever. Haters go away. He will get as many rings as Jordan soon.

  • LakerMantra

    Ever heard the term “Wolf in sheep’s clothing?” This article seems like “Kobe / Dwade / LBJ / Penny / #2 player Hater in Shaq’s clothing”. Title’s and rings are VERY team oriented, not just a couple of players. There were role players (Horry, Ho Grant, Fisher, Jones, Williams to name a few) and legendary coaches associated with the rings that involve Shaq. Enough said. All these great players would have had GREAT statistical numbers without Shaq as they would’ve been the “go-to” guys on their respective teams. Some would have more MVPs and some more scoring champions.
    The only thing that would’ve been unachievable (unless another “big” center had replaced Shaq) would’ve been the rings

    The world does not revovle around IF, but IF is great for argument. If Tim Duncan had played with any of these great players instead of Shaq but did not have Robinson, Parker, Ginobli, Bowen would he have the same # of rings?? maybe more, maybe less or none at all!??