Shaquille O’Neal retires: Is Shaq the most overrated center of all time?

Shaq retired today, upstaging the NBA finals.  He is one of the most overrated players of all time.  No other great player got to play with so many all-time greats — Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Steve Nash, LeBron James, and at the end, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett though that doesn’t really count.  Has there ever been a player in the history of the NBA who played with more great players?  Shaq could have never won a championship without an all-time great next to him.  Hakeem Olajuwon was better – he got two titles with a worse supporting cast, and swept Shaq’s Magic in the finals.  Wilt Chamberlain dominated the game much more than Shaq.  Bill Russell won more titles and was a better defender and shot blocker.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a much better scorer, wiht an all-time move (the sky-hook) and won six titles, though he did have Magic and Worthy.

Shaq simply didn’t have many offensive moves at all and didn’t rebound as well as you would expect for someone so big and athletic.  He was often out of shape and injured.  He was one of the worst free throw shooters of all time.  Moses Malone was just as good, though no one admits it.  David Robinson was almost as good – Shaq benefitted from his sheer size.  And Shaq got the benefit of many calls from the refs.

Yes, he was great, four titles, excellent scorer, lots of numbers, but I would have loved to have seen how he would have done with the teammates that Patrick Ewing had.  Probably the same – no titles.  At least Ewing won an NCAA title.

And I’m tired of hearing about how outgoing he is.  That shouldn’t be considered in how great of a player he was.

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