One of MJ's greatest strenghts was his hangtime. He'd go up on a jumper with a defender in his grill and even though he took off first teh defender would almost always come down first giving Mike a clean look. He had great form in his upper body on the jumper too so he was always truly shooting it and not just throwing it up. Mj rarely put up prayers. He was like a swiss army knife of offensive tools but he worked hard to fill out every other aspect of his game and never settled for being just a scorer. He was a winner and knew that winning meant all aspects of the game.
As for goal-tending, if it was so easy, how come other players weren't recording his incredible block numbers? If it was easy for Wilt, it was also easy for everyone else...except that in professional sports, it's never easy when you have to compete against other players.
But hey, we can agree to disagree :-)
While Jordan may well be the best player ever, I think Shaq is the most dominant player ever.
I fully believe the level of disparity between Shaq and the next 'best' C is greater than between any other player and the next 'best' at their respective position.
I perused a book of the 100 greatest basketball players earlier this Summer and they had Shaq at #1. While I don't agree with the ranking, I believe there is no clear cut best player and that Shaq would be in the conversation.
Shaq - 28 pts on 60% shooting, 12.5 Rbs, 6.25 assists, 2.25 blocks, 0.25 steals, 5.25 TO
Hakeem - 32.5 pts on 48% shooting, 11.5 Rbs, 5.5 assists, 2.75 blocks, 2 steals, 4.5 TO
We need to also consider Shaq was in his 2nd year in the NBA, first time in the finals. Hakeem had 11 years experience at that point in time and in his 3rd finals apperance.
I don't think that even remotely indicates that Shaq was 'owned' in that series. Moreso a 'mobile/quick center with great post-moves would leave Shaq helpless' is hardly a statement that held true his career.
perhaps because for 80% of his career there were no highly skilled, mobile, athletic big men in the league? Just sayin.
Shaq could of been greater than he was had he been challenged in his career. As it was he was playing against old men and guys who could barely walk and chew gum at the same time so all he did was use his power game. If you watch a young Shaq however you see a highly skilled big man coupled with unmatched power. It's a crying shame he never had to develop his game though. He could have, he was intelligent and dexterous enough. Just never had to. Yao was the first big man since Keem to really ever make him work and Shaq loved him for it.
I would rank Kareem at least on par with The Admiral but below Shaquille O'Neil.
i think shaq is the best center ever. in the next group i put robinson/kareem/hakeem/ewing. my viewpoint on the stilt is that once the rules got changed to make it fairer his stats came down to earth so its hard to measure him. i look at it as an overpowering wow type stat/ where developers have to change it up to even it for everyone.
I say Jordan solely for the reason that he dominated, won three championships in a row. Quit. Then cameback and didn't miss a beat winning another 3 championships in a row.
Okay you got me.. my statement was an observation from watching that series and being impressed by Hakeem. I would still choose Hakeem over Shaq as his post moves were so much fun for a big man to watch.
But ultimately I pick Jordan.. mostly because he's the reason I started watching basketball (which is very subjective, I know). The guy dominated, especially in the finals. He just wouldn't lose. A big time ass-hole, but still a pleasure to watch.