Blog Entry

Shaq does some talking about a lot of stuff

Posted on: September 11, 2011 4:08 pm
Posted by Royce Young

You might be shocked by this, but Shaquille O'Neal has some opinons he's not afraid to share them. And with him being retired, it's basically open season for him right now. Ask, and ye shall receive... great answers.

The Times-Picayune talked to The Big Retiree at his recent statue unveiling and Shaq had some interesting thoughts on a wide number of topics.

First up, who's the real "Superman" and what he thinks about Dwight Howard's career.
His mom and my mom are good friends. I don’t have a problem. But my thing is if you want to call yourself me (Superman), then you’ve got big shoes to fill. I’m not in the Superman this, and Superman that. He won a dunk contest with a cape. If you want to be called Superman because of that, it’s fine with me. I’m Superman for other reasons. I don’t envy him; he’s a great young player.

But I’ve never seen him dog another center out. I tried to dog centers out. I went at David Robinson. If Dwight doesn’t win two or three championships, I’m going to be disappointed. He doesn’t have nobody. When I came in the league, I had to go through Alonzo Mourning, Arvydas Sabonis, Kevin Duckworth, Rik Smits. Now I can’t name any other centers besides Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum. Who else is there? That’s it.
Andrew Bogut just raised his hand. And Nene. And Tim Duncan (sort of). And Marc Gasol. And Tyson Chandler. And Darko Milicic (just kidding). I understand Shaq's point, but come on, there's a lot of big man talent in the league right now.  It's might not be as much as he faced at one point, but it's still solid. Plus, the center position is a different world now than it was. It's not about guys like Duckworth who are big and bruising. It's about guys like Nene with speed and athleticism.

But he's certainly right. Dwight Howard needs to win. He's going to be a player defined by that. The idea is that big men equal championships and Howard's head and shoulders above all other big men.

Next up: Who was the best teammate out of Kobe, Wade and LeBron?
They were all different. Coming in, I had to bring Kobe along. Coming in with D-Wade, I didn’t want to lose a friend like I lost Kobe, so I was real delicate with him. LeBron already had everything, so I never had to say anything to him.
Interesting there that Shaq said he lost Kobe as a friend. I mean, we all already kind of know that, but they've both always tried to act like they were cool with each other. Obviously not.

Shaq was asked about the difference between the league now and when he came in.
Business-wise, it’s different. When I was in high school, every team had a star and a Hall of Famer. You don’t have that now. Let’s be real: Orlando, Boston, L.A., Miami — that’s it. Maybe Memphis, the Spurs, maybe Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks. Only nine or 10 teams have a star. In my opinion, it’s kind of gone down. You’ve still got some young guys that are very exciting. They understand and grasp the power that they have.
Your new analyst, TNT! Seriously Shaq? No Oklahoma City and Kevin Durant? No Derrick Rose and the Bulls? No Clippers and Blake Griffin? No Mavericks and Dirk? Chris Paul and the Hornets? Deron Williams and the Nets? I understand overlooking Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge, but someone's a little too nostalgic for The Good Old Days. There's more talent in the league than ever. I just counted 20 teams with a star. I think you're shortselling there big time, Shaq.

On deciding to retire at 39 while seeing his skills diminish:
At 39, I wasn’t mentally on the down slope. But I used to feel really terrible after scoring eight points. This ain’t me, the Diesel scoring eight points. My mind was on winning the whole thing, and we had a chance to get the second spot (in the Eastern Conference), and we ended up getting the fourth spot. I even told (Boston General Manager) Danny Ainge not to do the Kendrick Perkins deal with Oklahoma City. I told them I might not be ready, and I’m definitely not coming back. Those guys did what they’ve got to do. I wasn’t surprised; I’ve seen it before. They say all that blah, blah, but you know it’s always going to be something different.
Interesting Shaq says that now because the Perkins trade was largely contingent on his health. Ainge seemed positive that Shaq would return and contribute but according to Shaq, he wasn't sure he'd be ready. So much so that he advised Ainge not to do the trade.

Basically, here's what to take from this Shaq interview: He might not be correct or really even remotely close, but everything's going to be interesting and have a strong opinion. So there's no doubt that he's going to fit in really well next to Charles Barkley.

Since: Sep 12, 2011
Posted on: September 12, 2011 8:17 pm

Shaq does some talking about a lot of stuff

I agree there are not much true centers around in the NBA, with a few exceptios in Dwight Howard. Looking at the future especially at the current college level. There will be more like Kevin Garnett or Pau Gasol types of centers, who can shoot from the outside and even make three point shots.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: September 12, 2011 12:49 pm

Shaq does some talking about a lot of stuff

Actually Royce, there are not alot of big men with talent right now. Not in the terms Shaq means. He is talking about true centers, not glorified power forward (Tim Duncan, Nene) And as far as Gasol, Bogut,and  Chandler go, Marc Gasol is the only true talented center. Chandler cant score and Bogut is slow and injury prone. Back in the Shaq era, Rik SMits was the lower level of starting center, he would be a dominant all star in this era. Shaq IS correct in the assumption that the talent level for true centers is at an all time low.

Since: Sep 12, 2011
Posted on: September 12, 2011 6:23 am

Shaq does some talking about a lot of stuff

Shaq totally dominated everyone at the post in his prime. Everyone got posterized by him. About his comment about Howard about wunning a championship. I think he will eventually get one. I think he is young enough and he got a lot of years to do it.

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: September 12, 2011 1:25 am

Shaq does some talking about a lot of stuff

Interesting that Shaq named four former center opponents and two were Blazers. Those teams made it to the Western Conference championships and a couple of finals. The player that matches up to Dwight Howard is Greg Oden. People forget that Oden had a PER of 23.1 and is a bruising physical player and an amazing athlete. When Oden comes back again will he again be dominant? My bet is yes. In a front court of LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace Greg will be one-on-one and perhaps only Howard can defend him. Oden outplayed Nene significantly when the two met.

The league has changed and bruising centers are not the vogue. But Shaq was the player that made everyone want and need a bruiser. Oden can do the same if he can remain healthy this time. It will be fun to watch and see if he picks back up where he left off. Shaq and Charles together will be dynamite. Shaq is dominant personality and so is Charles. TNT FTW!

Since: Nov 19, 2008
Posted on: September 11, 2011 8:11 pm

Shaq does some talking about a lot of stuff

This so called writer, well not even a writer a blogger obviously doesnt understand the context in which shaq was talking plus shaqs right the league is way worse than it was 15 years ago. shaqs not trying to be a dick ges just telling it like he feels it is.

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