Dead or alive, Shaquille O’Neal is going into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He’s been around enough, he has won enough and he has been dominant enough.
Recently speaking with Nola.com, O’Neal spoke about his future Hall of Fame induction and what his late stepfather, Phillip Harrison played in it.
“Its always been my ritual not to think about it until it happens,” O’Neal said about his induction. “The only thing about it, the guy (his stepfather Phillip Harrison who died last year) who made me who I am won’t be able to witness that.”
“He used to tell me when I was little that I needed to get a sky hook like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,” O’Neal recalled.
“He told me when I block shots to don’t go crazy with it, but tap it to a teammate like Bill Russell used to do and I had to dominate like Wilt Chamberlain to make people fear you,” he said.
“Then once I became good, he said, ”Son you keep it up and you’ll be in the Hall of Fame.”
Some people would argue that O’Neal is on the same level as Chamberlain. Others would say he played in a different era, and was actually better than Chamberlain.
One thing is for sure, there hasn’t been a center in the NBA that could be as dominant as Chamberlain, and now it’s obvious that the NBA doesn’t have a center that is as good as O’Neal was in his prime.
O’Neal, who retired from the NBA not so long ago, and he remains a prime example of a dominant NBA center, who won both as a player and as part of a team.
It has been three years since O’Neal announced his retirement from the NBA after 19 seasons. Still, O’Neal remains in the spotlight without even stepping on the court.
He played in 1207 NBA games (1197 started), averaging 23.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg in 34.7 minutes of action.
O’Neal was a 15-time NBA All-Star, and won 4 NBA championships (three with Los Angeles Lakers, one with Miami Heat). He is considered to be among the best centers ever to play in the NBA.
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