Shaquille O’Neal says today’s NBA “soft”, was soft in his time too

shaq-lakers-dunkingFormer NBA star center Shaquille O’Neal has joined the other former players, who believe that today’s NBA is “soft” and not what it used to be, the Score reported.

During his recent visit to Hong Kong, O’Neal spoke about the “good old days”, saying that his wheelhouse era (the mid ’90s through to the mid ’00s) was softer than the NBA of the 1980s and before.

“It was actually kind of soft when I played, too,” O’Neal admitted. “Before I played, that was the real NBA, and I’m sure the guys that played before me would say that’s the real NBA.”

“But before I came in, with Mike (Jordan) playing against Detroit and the Bad Boys – that was the real NBA,” he added.

“I kind of played in the soft era, also. And then of course, with me being dominant, everybody crying about the rules, that just made it more so. But now it’s very soft,” said O’Neal.

A dominant force in the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal was selected to 15 all-star Games, won four NBA titles (three with Los Angeles Lakers, one with Miami Heat). He is considered to be among the best centers ever to play in the NBA. O’Neal played in 1207 NBA games (1197 started), averaging 23.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 2.3 bpg in 34.7 minutes of action.

By the time O’Neal came into the league in the early ’90s, the pendulum had swung to the “no easy baskets” grinding, plugging styles employed by the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks.

Once rule changes altered that (something O’Neal should be familiar with, as a victim of Hack-a-Shaq), it paved the way for today’s more offense-friendly style.


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