“The most dominant big name, it’s only 2 names, that’s my category, Steph got his own category” - Shaquille O'Neal says he never worried about titles, says he always wanted to be the most dominant

Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal
Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal
Charles Eluemuno

Shaquille O'Neal is arguably the most dominant player in NBA history, and it was intentional. The four-time champ said he never sought to be the best player but utilized his size and strength.

The style of play in the low post was a lot different before Shaq. Big men like Hakeem Olajuwon had several tools in their arsenal to operate in the low post.

Shaq's style, however, was a lot different as he leveraged his strength. "The Big Aristotle" embodied bully ball and was a certified rim rocker.

On "The Big Podcast," Shaq was asked about his relationship with Bill Russell, who recently died. After pointing out how lucky he was to have a relationship with Russell, he talked about how he set out to be different:

"I never really worry about titles. As long as my name is mentioned, it means that I did something right. People also don't understand: I never wanted to be the best player. That's not what I was going (for), because I've never been the best. I've always been big and strong.
"So, when you're big and strong, the only title you should go for is the most dominant. And that's why I played like I played. I don't play Tim Duncan and (Kevin) Garnett and face up and fundamental moves, naah. When you talk about the best, it's too many names.
"Y'all know how arrogant I am. I don't want to be involved with 10 other names when you are talking about my spot. The best big man, it's four, five names. The most dominant big man, it's only two names. That's my category. Steph got his own category: best shooter ever."

Although players like Zion Williamson, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo have shown glimpses of bully ball, none have come close to Shaq's dominance.

Shaquille O'Neal currently works as an NBA analyst

After an illustrious 19-year career, Shaq currently works as an NBA analyst on TNT. While he is one of the providers of comic relief on the show, he is also known for his candid takes.

With the platform, Shaq has tried to inspire young players to be their best. However, his methods have been questioned by some. The former LA Lakers star has said that he does tough love.


O'Neal has also gotten into it with Rudy Gobert after the two engaged in a back-and-forth on social media. Shaq said he would dominate the three-time Defensive Player of the Year in his prime, while Gobert responded by saying he would lock down Diesel.

It ended with Shaq praising Gobert, saying he respects his viewpoint:

"You know what, Rudy? Let me tell you something. I respect that. I do. That's how you're supposed to think. A lot of times, when I throw jabs, people think it's hate or whatever. But, really, I'm just challenging them."
"I respect that." @SHAQ responds to Rudy Gobert's IG comment 👀Tap in live to the B/R app now

While it would be an interesting matchup to watch, it is one of many duels that will always remain hypothetical.

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein


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