NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal didn’t make the graphic below, he wants you to understand. He’s just reposting it to get a conversation going.
And is there any better conversation starter for rabid NBA fans than the tried-and-true Who Is The GOAT? (That’s Greatest of All Time, for those living under a rock.)
Now even those who disagree about who’s best will concede that it’s valid to place Michael Jordan alone at the top. Now should Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and/or Bill Russell be up there with him? The case can be made. (And it frequently is.)
But it’s the second tier of this list — where Shaq smiles out with Kobe Bryant, Russell, Kareem, and Magic Johnson — that has fans arguing heatedly, which is exactly what lists like this are for. First of all, where is Hakeem Olajuwon? (Nowhere, a monster oversight.) Shaq just said that Hakeem was a guy he couldn’t beat. And Shaq above LeBron James and Wilt Chamberlain?
One fan writes “U should apologize for reposting this,” the language a not-so-subtle reference to the Kyrie Irving debacle, in which Irving was forced to apologize for reposting a link to a execrable film. (Shaq took Irving to task, which cost him some fan love, alas.)
Shaq sits above Tim Duncan here too. Hmmm. Tough call, but that’s how these things go. Was Larry Bird a better basketball player than Shaq? Seems hard not to say yes, but then was Shaq more dominant for a short period of time — undoubtedly. And so it goes.