So me and my friend are debating...

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:56 pm
He is one of the greatest of all time but he could have been the greatest!

He didn't use his size as an absolute advantage and played smaller alot. Had he just taken it and dunked a bit more, he would have been far more unstoppable.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:12 pm
migya wrote:He is one of the greatest of all time but he could have been the greatest!

VERY debatable... if he were the unquestioned best center of all-time, than maybe he could be argued as somebody who could have been the greatest of all time... but I think that (even if he played his size up all the way), the best David Robinson could have done would have been to give Hakeem a run for his money (and neither of them touch Shaq, as far as I'm concerned). He was no doubt the most gifted athlete at center that the league has ever seen... but I still wouldn't place him in my top 10 all-time list... If you're not in the top-10, than there's no way you're gonna rocket past everyone to be first. It just doesn't happen.

If you'd like to know my top 10 of all time, i'll probably post it in the near future.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:07 pm
#32 wrote:I think that (even if he played his size up all the way), the best David Robinson could have done would have been to give Hakeem a run for his money (and neither of them touch Shaq, as far as I'm concerned).


Why?, Hakeem won two titles with a fairly worse roster and at a time in which the NBA had a lot more talent than now (Jordan, Ewing, Robinson, Kemp & Payton, Stockton & Malone, Barkley, ... There was no shortage of contenders) so it can't be about titles.

It also can't be about talent. Shaq doesn't touch Hakeems jock. He's just bigger, stronger, ... but a worse player. Nothing to be ashamed of, very few players have had Hakeem's resources on the paint.

So, why?. I would acknowledge (reluctantly, but I would accept that it can be argued) that Shaq could be more unstoppable but that doesn't make him a better player. Just more effective at the few things he does/did better.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:21 pm
TMC wrote:Why?, Hakeem won two titles with a fairly worse roster and at a time in which the NBA had a lot more talent than now

I dunno about that statement... let's squeeze out the names that you listed:

Michael Jordan - Was retired during Hakeem's championship days. There would be noway the Rockets would have any banners in the 90's if Jordan played the whole way through.

Patrick Ewing - Never really had that great a team during an opportune time... perhaps the finest example (besides Barkley) of a Hall-of-Famer who's fingers remain bare due to Jordan. Ewing and Olajuwon barely separated themselves during Jordan's retirement. In my opinion, Robert Horry, Sam Cassell, and Clyde Drexler look a lot better for team support than Charles Oakley, John Starks, and Anthony Mason. Hakeem is no doubt a better center than Ewing, but he also had a better team to help deliver Houston a couple rings.

David Robinson - Like Ewing, Robinson was cursed with mediocre backup. Sean Elliot, the offensively-retarded Dennis Rodman, Avery Johnson, Vinny Del Negro... nothing more than a slew of average players (save for Rodman) who couldn't deliver when the game counted on it. Don't get me started on the Spurs bench in the pre-Duncan era, either...

Kemp & Payton - Good, but immature. In their prime, Gary Payton was MVP-worthy, there's no doubt... but Kemp had always been a head case (even before the contract episodes). It can be argued that Payton didn't truly mature into the player he should have been (as far as a leader, on and off the court) until Kemp was shipped out to Ohio. Immature and, therefore, unreliable.

Stockton & Malone - Unlike Kemp & Payton (who were immature), these two simply didn't have the team. Jeff Hornacek was the best side-kick these two ever had... and he was barely above average (not to mention, in the twilight of his career). A roster with Shandon Anderson, Greg Ostertag, Adam Keef, and Howard Eisley doesn't look too title-worthy to me.

Charles Barkley - The exception. The player who had it all (a talented team with the Suns, the MVP ability, the leading role that he needed, and a shot at the MVP title), but came up short against Jordan and his Bulls. Tough break, but that's how it goes.

And, don't forget that (for the most part) Shaq went up against this exact same competition. Hakeem (with fellow Twin Tower, Ralph Sampson) had pulled the already established franchise (the Houston Rockets) to the finals early in his career, but came up short. Shaquille O'Neal (with, virtually, nobody) dragged the EXPANSION team (the Orlando Magic) to the NBA Finals just as early (and also came up short). And, if you want to get technical, Shaq has more rings than Hakeem. There's nothing more democratic in the world. "Greatest at this" and "greatest at that" are all debatable, but there's nothing debatable about championship rings... and Shaq has more.

TMC wrote:I would acknowledge (reluctantly, but I would accept that it can be argued) that Shaq could be more unstoppable but that doesn't make him a better player. Just more effective at the few things he does/did better.

I believe that made him a better player. Shaq wasn't just "more unstoppable" than Hakeem; he was the most unstoppable force the league has ever seen. He has higher career averages in points (26.4, compared to 21.8), rebounds (11.8, compared to 11.1), assists (2.8, compared to 2.5), AND field goal percentage (a huge 58%, compared to 51%). Keep in mind (aside from Hakeem's few seasons with Clyde, Barkley, or Pippen), that Shaq has ALWAYS had at least one other star on his team (Penny, Kobe, and Dwayne Wade... not to mention the stacked rosters of the '04 Lakers and the '06 Heat). Even though Hakeem was (for the most part) the sole offensive and defensive option in Houston, Shaq's game has transcended over the obvious more touches that Hakeem got to average (overall) better numbers. That's power you can't buy.

Overall, I think Hakeem was the 2nd best center of all time, there's no doubt. He was a wonder to watch and truly one of a kind (there hasn't been a center with more guard-like qualities since)... but, when it all comes down to it, Shaquille O'Neal has higher career numbers and more championship rings (meaning that he's, statisically, ahead of Hakeem in both singles play and how far his team goes). I don't see anything, other than personal preference (ie, you liking the finese game more than the power game) that would inspire a different answer. Shaq, in many different aspects, has surpassed the man he tried to idol his game after (Hakeem).
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:15 pm
#32 wrote:
The only way I can see Robinson advancing her personal stat's anymore would be to turn up the emotion and aggression...
So David was A She :?: LOL... :mrgreen:
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 2:59 am
#32 wrote:
migya wrote:He is one of the greatest of all time but he could have been the greatest!

VERY debatable... if he were the unquestioned best center of all-time, than maybe he could be argued as somebody who could have been the greatest of all time... but I think that (even if he played his size up all the way), the best David Robinson could have done would have been to give Hakeem a run for his money (and neither of them touch Shaq, as far as I'm concerned). He was no doubt the most gifted athlete at center that the league has ever seen



If David Robinson had used his immense muscle (one of the biggest biceps and shoulders around) more often to just over power guys, like Olajuwon did, he wouls have been far better. The man got by on jump shooting and driving by guys for layups and the occassional dunk.

Olajuwon used textbook post moves (spins, hooks and so on) to score but Robinson didn't have to most of the time but he did have to when there was times where he wasn't scoring and the spurs needed it. If Robinson had incorporated some low post moves, he would have been the greatest ever and scored even more points than what he did.

David Robinson is among the top 5 centers ever and that is with just using his athletic ability.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:09 am
TMC wrote:It also can't be about talent. Shaq doesn't touch Hakeems jock. He's just bigger, stronger, ... but a worse player. Nothing to be ashamed of, very few players have had Hakeem's resources on the paint.



Shaquille O'neal is not a very skilled player! He is just a behemoth that is "allowed" to barge through players! He is not as athletic as either Robinson and Olajuwon (agility and speed). Shaq's most noteworthy skill, to me, is his assistance in the nurture of young stars (Anfernee, Kobe and Wade). His presence made the growth of those three much easier.

Noone was ever allowed to get away with the barging that Shaq has been allowed to get away with from day 1! I never thought it was far for a big lug to be allowed to smash through guys while other weren't allowed to! It's like allowing Iverson, one of the fastest players ever, to run without bouncing the ball for 6 steps! It is just the allowing of an illegal move!

Olajuwon was pure skill and grace and Robinson was pure athleticism and grace! They both had skills and out did their opponents with real basketball skill!
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 3:42 am
migya wrote:Shaquille O'neal is not a very skilled player! He is just a behemoth that is "allowed" to barge through players! He is not as athletic as either Robinson and Olajuwon (agility and speed).


I don't really agree. Shaq looks like a blunt force, but he has more talent that he's given credit for. He's not only stronger, he's also fast as hell, and a pretty good passer. He's not just a behemoth.

With that said, he doesn't have the array of moves Hakeem had, and is not as polished as Robinson. Just has different qualities.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 4:17 am
#32 wrote:Michael Jordan - Was retired during Hakeem's championship days. There would be noway the Rockets would have any banners in the 90's if Jordan played the whole way through.


Jordan played during the second ring of the Rockets, and the Shaq's Magic got him out of the playoffs, just to lose 4-0 against the Hakeem's Rockets in the finals.

#32 wrote:Patrick Ewing - Never really had that great a team during an opportune time... perhaps the finest example (besides Barkley) of a Hall-of-Famer who's fingers remain bare due to Jordan. Ewing and Olajuwon barely separated themselves during Jordan's retirement. In my opinion, Robert Horry, Sam Cassell, and Clyde Drexler look a lot better for team support than Charles Oakley, John Starks, and Anthony Mason. Hakeem is no doubt a better center than Ewing, but he also had a better team to help deliver Houston a couple rings.


I don't think too high of Ewing. He was a pretty good center, but a step (or more) below Hakeem, Shaq, Robinson, Moses Malone and many others. Just a little bit better than Brad Daugherty...

I only count Drexler as a Blazer. He had his best years there, and only helped Hakeem on the Rocket's second ring. He was more of the oppositon to Hakeem than help.

#32 wrote:David Robinson - Like Ewing, Robinson was cursed with mediocre backup. Sean Elliot, the offensively-retarded Dennis Rodman, Avery Johnson, Vinny Del Negro... nothing more than a slew of average players (save for Rodman) who couldn't deliver when the game counted on it. Don't get me started on the Spurs bench in the pre-Duncan era, either...


Robinson also had a pretty good Terry Cummings by his side, and Willie Anderson (who wasn't special, but got the job done)... He also lacked the nastyness a true (on-court) leader needs.

#32 wrote:Kemp & Payton - Good, but immature. In their prime, Gary Payton was MVP-worthy, there's no doubt... but Kemp had always been a head case (even before the contract episodes). It can be argued that Payton didn't truly mature into the player he should have been (as far as a leader, on and off the court) until Kemp was shipped out to Ohio. Immature and, therefore, unreliable.


Kemp was unstoppable at a time. Same as Shaq, you knew he was going to dunk on you, no matter what you did. Seattle also had a pretty strong team alonside them (Schrempf, Perkins, Hersey Hawkins, ...) and a pretty good coach.

#32 wrote:Stockton & Malone - Unlike Kemp & Payton (who were immature), these two simply didn't have the team. Jeff Hornacek was the best side-kick these two ever had... and he was barely above average (not to mention, in the twilight of his career). A roster with Shandon Anderson, Greg Ostertag, Adam Keef, and Howard Eisley doesn't look too title-worthy to me.


Utah also had Jeff Malone, Bryon Russell and ..., that's it. They were cursed for choosing Salt Lake city as their location. If not, they would have won a ring or two.

#32 wrote:Charles Barkley - The exception. The player who had it all (a talented team with the Suns, the MVP ability, the leading role that he needed, and a shot at the MVP title), but came up short against Jordan and his Bulls. Tough break, but that's how it goes.


Agreed.

#32 wrote:Shaquille O'Neal (with, virtually, nobody) dragged the EXPANSION team (the Orlando Magic) to the NBA Finals just as early (and also came up short). And, if you want to get technical, Shaq has more rings than Hakeem. There's nothing more democratic in the world. "Greatest at this" and "greatest at that" are all debatable, but there's nothing debatable about championship rings... and Shaq has more.


I just think the league talent was "watered down" when Shaq got his rings. Look at their rivals on the finals, Indy (with Reggie Miller as their star), Philly (Iverson) and New Jersey (Kidd). Any of the teams we've been talking about would cruise against those team and win easily.

I give Shaq more credit to their title run with Orlando, but he also had a good supporting cast. Penny was great during those years (he still has a max contract, and that's only due to the way he played back then), Dennis Scott was a great shooter, Horace Grant wasn't worse than, say, Otis Thorpe, and Nick Anderson was also a pretty decent guard. And also had Brian Shaw coming from the bench...

I think that team had better players than his Lakers championship teams. He had a top player on Kobe, and a clutch player on Horry, but not much more. In fact, he even had some of those players with him in the Lakers (Grant or Shaw), just older.

#32 wrote:Overall, I think Hakeem was the 2nd best center of all time, there's no doubt. He was a wonder to watch and truly one of a kind (there hasn't been a center with more guard-like qualities since)... but, when it all comes down to it, Shaquille O'Neal has higher career numbers and more championship rings (meaning that he's, statisically, ahead of Hakeem in both singles play and how far his team goes). I don't see anything, other than personal preference (ie, you liking the finese game more than the power game) that would inspire a different answer. Shaq, in many different aspects, has surpassed the man he tried to idol his game after (Hakeem).


Players that played in different ages can't be compared by the rings. Bill Russell would own them all. And I still think it was harder to get a ring in Hakeems prime than in Shaq's.

I guess it's personal preference then, but I still consider Hakeem as the best center ever, with Shaq second and Moses third (I'm not counting Wilt or Bill Russel because I only got to watch vids of them, never complete games, so I don't consider myself able to have a valid opinion)

I'll have to think about that top 10 list. It's going to be hard just choosing 10 players...
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 10:38 am
TMC wrote:
migya wrote:Shaquille O'neal is not a very skilled player! He is just a behemoth that is "allowed" to barge through players! He is not as athletic as either Robinson and Olajuwon (agility and speed).


I don't really agree. Shaq looks like a blunt force, but he has more talent that he's given credit for. He's not only stronger, he's also fast as hell, and a pretty good passer. He's not just a behemoth.

With that said, he doesn't have the array of moves Hakeem had, and is not as polished as Robinson. Just has different qualities.



Olajuwon were better passes for longer in their careers than Shaq has been in his. Shaq now passes decently but he's only been doing that for 6 years or so.

Olajuwon and Robinson were more skilled, no objection there but Shaq does get away with smacking guys out of the way and that is just something that the nba had to allow to make him a real icon
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:33 pm
Good points, TMC, I think we're both coming from the same place and have the same idea... but we're backing a different player. I still think Hakeem was one of the greatest of all-time (definately the 2nd best), but I don't think anybody touches Shaquille O'Neal.

migya wrote:Noone was ever allowed to get away with the barging that Shaq has been allowed to get away with from day 1! I never thought it was far for a big lug to be allowed to smash through guys while other weren't allowed to! It's like allowing Iverson, one of the fastest players ever, to run without bouncing the ball for 6 steps! It is just the allowing of an illegal move!

I don't agree; special players throughout league history have always been given special consideration to showcase their talents. If you think Shaq was the first person to use the back-down move in the post, than you've forgotten about Charles Barkley and Darryl Dawkins. I remember watching footage of Aurburn games where Barkley discovered that he had this huge backside and could just push opponenets closer and closer to the bucket with it. Shaq was using a move that had already existed; he just perfected it due to his size and strength.

Besides, you haven't forgotten how Hakeem used to take little extra steps under the rim, right? Nobody called him on it because that was his thing; he used jukes and fakes. I can't tell you how many times I've seen Hakeem Olajuwon get away with a travel under the hole. Players like McHale, James Worthy, and Hakeem traveled more than you remember. Take a look at some of the great post players of the past and watch them closely.

And then there's the fan-favorite players; the little men who overcome the 7-footers and drive into the lane. Players like Jordan, Kobe, and Iverson... notice anything about all three of them? They all shoot 20 free-throws a game. Even though a big man could get knocked (just as hard) inside, they get special consideration because they're guards. That doesn't seem fair to me...

And what about the "defensive specialists" who are known for hard-nosed, perimeter defense. Something you'll NEVER see Latrell Sprewell or Gary Payton get called on is a reach... and replay (plus still-frame action photos) almost always show their arms being fed through the mid-section of the opposition and swiping from under their stomach. However, if a center did that to another center in the key, it just might be flagrant... That's not fair, either.

Lastly, remember how Reggie Miller always seemed to go to the line when he got touched on the perimeter (whether he jumped into the guy or not). It's the same thing. Players are scared to jump at Peja, Reggie, or Ray Allen because the ref's give shooters a very touchy foul-system that puts them on the line (and they never miss, either).

If you look at every star in the league with one of the above qualities, you'll find the ref's stirring with the game. The reason Shaquille O'Neal is such an easy (and frequent) target is because he's (possibly) the game's biggest star... and we see what happens to them (*cough* Bonds/steriods, Lance Armstrong/steriods, Shaq/gets away with fouls, Gretsky/hooked people, ect). People always find a way to complain about the best players in the game.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:03 am
Also, Shaq gets fouled in almost any play. It's the only way to stop him. I'm sure only a 10-15% of those fouls are called.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:06 am
Right on! People can slobber all over Allen Iverson's sack and act like he's one tough one of a b*tch, but Shaquille O'Neal has been hammered, hacked, grabbed, pushed, kneed, shoved, dry-humped, and molested more times that any other player in the history of the NBA. Almost every time he touches the ball, he gets hacked/grabbed (but the refs don't call those).

Shaq wrote:I ain't a tree, you know? I may be bigger and taller than most other guys out there, but I ain't a tree. You need to keep them guys off me.

Even the term "hack-a-Shaq" is popularly used today when playing O'Neal. People act like "oh, come on, he's pushing around all the little guys", but that's not true at all! In game terms, Shaquille O'Neal is playing perfectly legal (simply a bit physical). The only time Shaq can be accused of cheating is when he widely throws his shoulder (which usually knocks the opponent on his ass, so it gets called anyway).
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