If you haven’t been following NBA headlines as of late, there’s been a little drama between two of the league’s big men, Dwight Howard and retired legend Shaquille O’Neal.
During a roundtable discussion with fellow TNT analysts on NBA TV’s “Open Court” last week, which was also posted on NBA.com, O’Neal said he considers Philadelphia 76ers’ Andrew Bynum and the Brooklyn Nets’ Brook Lopez as the best true centers in the game today… over Howard.
“We as players, we always watch people before us,” O’Neal said. “When I came in, it was Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon, guys who played like true centers who played inside. What we have now are centers that are going to the European style, which is a lot of pick-and-roll. Dwight Howard, who’s a pick-and-roll player, some people say he’s the best center in the league, but me being an old-school center, I’m going to go with Robin Lopez and Andrew Bynum because they play with their back to the basket.”
He would later correct himself, explaining that he meant Brook Lopez and now his brother Robin.
Howard has obviously heard about Shaq’s comments, and responded with his own. “I don’t care what Shaq says,” Howard told reporters after practice, reports ESPN.com. “Shaq played the game. He’s done. He’s gone. It’s time to move on.”
He went on to call Shaq a hypocrite, doing the same thing vets did to him when he burst onto the scene in the 1990s.
“He hated the fact when he played that the older guys were talking about him and how he played and now he’s doing the exact same thing,” Howard explained. “Just let it go. There’s no sense for him to be talking trash to me. He did his thing in the league. He’s one of the most dominant players to ever play the game. Just sit back and relax. You did your thing. Your time is up. So, I don’t really care. I don’t really care. He can say whatever he wants to say.”
Howard is the latest in a long line of dominant big men in Lakers history — fromWilt Chamberlain, to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to O’Neal.