Debating Shaquille O’Neal’s place in NBA history: How Slam got it wrong

 

I’m a huge basketball fan.  I think that much has been established.

 

Despite my unhealthy obsession with the hardwood, I had never before purchased a copy of Slam magazine, a publication dedicated entirely to basketball.  After seeing Michael Jordan on the cover a few weeks ago, I decided to give Slam a whirl.  

 

In their August issue, Slam’s editors offered up their end-all, be-all list of the fifty greatest basketball players of all time.  The NBA did the same thing several years ago in celebration of its 50th anniversary.  As the game has changed dramatically since then, Slam decided to update the list with a flair of their own.

 

billrussellwiltchamberlain_2005-11-16As expected, their compilation is a veritable who’s who of basketball legends: Jordan, Wilt, Russell, Bird, Magic, the Big O, Kareem, the Logo.  Yet the number four player on their all-time list came as a big surprise.  A very big surprise.

 

After apparently much deliberation and debate, Slam ranked Shaquille O’Neal as the fourth greatest NBA player ever, behind only Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, who would likely crack any fan’s top three.  But Shaq fourth?  Really?  Better than Magic Johnson who could play all five positions and revolutionized the way we measure point guards?  Better than Larry Bird who revitalized a Celtics franchise by hitting big shot after big shot when it mattered most?  Better than Oscar Robertson who made the triple-double look routine?  Better than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the league’s leading all-time scorer?  Shaquille’s impact on the game is undeniable but the fourth best player of all time he is not.

 

I have a lot of sports junkie friends with whom I toss around ideas before putting them on the website.  I’d like to think they’re relatively well-versed in all things round ball, some of them much more so than me.  They’re my collective sounding board.  As soon as the Slam issue came out, I asked the lot of them to name their top five basketball players of all time in no particular order.  Not a single one of them mentioned Shaq.

 

With all due respect to the Diesel, he’s a beast.  Behind Wilt, he’s likely the most dominant big man to ever play the game.  About to enter his 18th season in the league, Shaq is the active career leader in scoring, fifth all-time behind Jabbar, Malone, Jordan and Wilt.  3,800 points behind Chamberlain, at his scoring current pace, Shaq would have to play another three seasons to pass him.  Shaq is also the current active leader in rebounds, ranking 15th all time.  Wilt’s rebounding record of 23,924 is in no danger of being broken as Shaq has just over half that amount (12,566).  Shaq’s never been known as a great rebounder, they just fall his way because of his sheer size.  Buck Williams and Walt Bellamy have more career rebounds.  Lastly, the Diesel is 7th on the all-time blocks list, 1200 behind the all-time leader, Hakeem Olajuwon.  Aside from titles and MVP awards, these are the statistics by which all great centers are measured.

 

1987_bird_vs_magicIn actuality, Shaq might not even be the fourth best CENTER to play the game, never mind the fourth best player.  Wilt, Russell and Kareem were dominant.  Shaq’s lone MVP pales in comparison to Kareem’s six, Russell’s five and Wilt’s four.  For the record, Bird and Magic have three each.  Last time I checked, Hakeem Olajuwon bested a young Shaquille head-to-head in the 1994-95 Finals.  And if you want to label Tim Duncan a center, Timmy has just as many titles and one more MVP award.

 

By no means am I hating on Shaquille O’Neal.  He’s been great for the game.  He’s got charisma, style, an unlimited supply of nicknames and very possibly the best sense of humor in sports.  He owns four championship rings and, in his waning years, will give a title run a few more tries with his new wing man, LeBron James.  But his game is still flawed in many respects.  Let us not forget he’s a career 58% free throw shooter.  And he’s likely never hit a jump shot from outside seventeen feet.

 

Shaq was a force.  Still is.  Cleveland will be a tough out with him in the paint, but they were a tough out anyway.  Shaq’s career is beyond admirable.  Top ten?  Probably.  But even HE wouldn’t say he’s the fourth greatest player of all time.  Given another title or two with LeBron, we can revisit Shaquille’s legacy which he continues to write.  But even with two more titles, it’s unlikely he’ll go down as the fourth greatest player ever on anyone’s list other than Slam’s.

 

I’ve included their list below for you to review, discuss and debate.  You’re bound to find other questionable names and rankings.  Karl Malone at only 18?  David Robinson as high as 25?  Underneath, I’ve listed two other groups of names: 1) players that were on the NBA’s 50 greatest that didn’t make Slam’s poll and 2) other players that arguably could have been included.

 

Coming up with such a list is a tremendous endeavor.  I commend Slam for their efforts.  But to have an editorial consensus that Shaquille O’Neal ranks fourth all-time means that, if they averaged out these rankings, someone must have voted him higher than that!  And that is simply inconceivable.

 

 

  1. Michael Jordan
  2. Wilt Chamberlain
  3. Bill Russell
  4. Shaquille O’Neal
  5. Oscar Robertson
  6. Magic Johnson
  7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  8. Tim Duncan
  9. Larry Bird
  10. Jerry West
  11. Elgin Baylor
  12. Kobe Bryant
  13. Hakeem Olajuwon
  14. Bob Pettit
  15. Julius Erving
  16. Moses Malone
  17. John Havlicek
  18. Karl Malone
  19. Isiah Thomas
  20. Charles Barkley
  21. Rick Barry
  22. John Stockton
  23. Elvin Hayes
  24. Bob Cousy
  25. David Robinson
  26. Kevin McHale
  27. Scottie Pippen
  28. Jason Kidd
  29. George Mikan
  30. Kevin Garnett
  31. Willis Reed
  32. Wes Unseld
  33. Nate Thurmond
  34. Dolph Schayes
  35. Walt Frazier
  36. Patrick Ewing
  37. Jerry Lucas
  38. Gary Payton
  39. Allen Iverson
  40. Billy Cunningham
  41. Clyde Drexler
  42. LeBron James
  43. Dominique Wilkins
  44. Dave Cowens
  45. George Gervin
  46. Bob McAdoo
  47. Earl Monroe
  48. Dennis Rodman
  49. Walt Bellamy
  50. Steve Nash

 

 

* Left off the NBA’s original 50: Nate Archibald, Paul Arizin, Dave Bing, Dave DeBusschere, Hal Greer, Sam Jones, James Worthy, Lenny Wilkins, Bill Walton, Bill Sharman, Robert Parrish, Pete Maravich

 

** Players not on the list: Dwyane Wade,  Dirk Nowitzki (the only MVP winner to not make the list), Bernard King, Dan Issel, Alex English, Reggie Miller

 

 

49 thoughts on “Debating Shaquille O’Neal’s place in NBA history: How Slam got it wrong

  1. Chris

    Anyone who’s of the belief that Slam is unbiased when it comes to Shaq. Then they need to have their heads examined. All <a href=”http://nba.com/playerfile/shaquilleoneal/”Shaq primarily is a a physical being , whose game is basically one dimensional. He can’t do it on both ends of the floor and he’s rarely been known to function on that level with any degree of consistency.

    I wouldn’t even place Shaq in my own personal top ten players of alltime. They’re merely going by the fact of his four rings and the multiple All Star appearances. Which in ofitself at the end of the day is no mean feat. But what has Shaq gone after the success with the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers . Great players are able to play consistently at a high level. Shaq hasn’t done that in years. Less we forget without Dwyane Wade at his side that fourth championship ring wouldn’t have at all been possible.

    Now if this Slam’s idea of stirring up the pot in order to create a debate then they’ve gone about it as only they can. Not much thought when into their thinking at all !

    Alan Parkins

  2. I don’t give much credence to All-Star appearances. They’re based on fan voting and popularity which explains why Vince Carter always makes the team. Heck, didn’t Kareem have like 20 appearances or something?

    O’Neal was the best center of his generation for the mere fact that there were no other good centers.

    Shaq fourth? Puh-leeze!

  3. Maybe Slam was helping promote Shaq’s new TV talk show? Maybe they own a piece of it & were “spinning” (another kind of “sport”)?

  4. If they actually called an offensive foul everytime the big lug ran over a defensive player, he would have fouled out in the first five minutes with two points every game!

  5. M…. not sure if Slam has any stake in the Shaq show but it’s possible.

    Word has it that the show was actually Steve Nash’s idea and Shaq ran with it.

    I haven’t see it yet but have been meaning to check it out.

  6. Dan-O,

    I will say that referees did have to change the way the officiate games with him in the league.

    On PTI last week, Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald said if Shaq were a foot shorter, he’d be the worst player in NBA history.

  7. I submit that Shaq has had to consistently leave his team in search of a new superstar to team with in order to win. So far he left Orlando for Kobie and LA, he left LA for D Dade and the Heat and now he is heading to Cleveland to partner up with King James. If he is the 4th best player of all time, why did he ever leave O-town? I’ll tell you why. He is essentially a one dimensional player. His one dimension is damn good but think about it. Has he even played any d since he left Orlando? Does he ever crash the boards or does he just create space and wait for the ball to drop? Poor free throw shooter and poor defender do not equal #4! On another note, what about Mr Big Shot Chauncy Billups? He may be the best floor general in the game right now although he may not have huge stats to back it up. He does have alot more jewlery than Stockton (who I love) and J Kidd and we all saw what happend to the pistons when he left and how the Nuggets took off when he arrived. Dude is a winner! Also think you could add Dwight Howard to the list who I think will eclipse most of Shaqs stats before he is through! Just my two cents!

  8. I can’t believe Bernard King did not make the list! One of my all-time favorites.

    Seriously though, I agree that Shaq is not the 4th best player of all time. I would probably bump up 5 through 9 and drop Shaq in behind Bird.

    The next thing I’d do is drop Jerry West down to #21 and move everybody else up. I honestly believe Cousy and West are the most overrated players of all-time. There were so few good point guards when they played and Cousy couldn’t even dribble with his left hand! West and Cousy benefitted from being on good teams like no other players in the history of sport!

  9. Hey Rev, not that I know much about the game, but from what I read when I was a kid, I would put Shaq behind Willis Reed.

    Take care brother.

  10. Seth… all good points. Thanks for swinging by.

    Chauncey definitely proved his mettle in last year’s post-season. His mere presence totally turned that Denver team around, even though when it’s all said and done, he won’t go down in history as a better PG than Kidd or Stock. I’m interested in seeing what they can do last year with a stronger Lakers, Spurs and Mavs team.

    I was really surprised to see Slam rank Shaq that high. It just doesn’t make any sense.

    For the record, I was living in Orlando when Shaq left town. It was HUGE news.

  11. Franco… I was surprised to see King not on the list either. If Hubie Brown says he’s one of the best players he’s ever coached, I’ll go with that.

    I can’t believe they ranked Karl Malone so low either. 2nd leading scorer all-time?

  12. Aer… ouch.

    I don’t think I’d go that low but I would say that Shaq is probably tied with Hakeem as the 4th best center ever.

    I’d definitely bump Robertson, Bird, Kareem and Magic over Shaq.

    After that, it gets iffy. I’m still undecided.

  13. I think you already know how I feel about all big men in general and Shaq in particular. I measure the greatness of bigs like this: Would they even be in the NBA if they were just 6″ shorter?
    Wilt-yes
    Russell-yes
    Kareem-yes
    Shaq-NO
    Six inches shorter would put them on par with Barkley who we know is about 6’6″ and a monster on the court. Shaq would never have his numbers at 6’6″. He wouldn’t even have Barkley’s numbers.
    Shaq is number one on the NBA list of all-time frauds in the league. Gee, I hope I wasn’t too hard on the “Big Diesel.” Here’s why he’s a fraud. To him, its all about his image. This little anecdote will prove my point. We all know what a lousy free-throw shooter Shaq is. Hell, its free with nobody in your face. Rick Barry, an NBA legend at the foul line once approached Shaq and offered to teach him to shoot free-throws underhand just like Barry did in his day. Rick Barry guaranteed Shaq that he would get his shooting % up there with the league leaders if he did it underhanded. Shaq’s response was that if he shot his free-throws underhanded his fans would laugh at him, not realizing that his fans are laughing at him now for all of his bricks from the line. What Shaq didn’t understand (probably because he’s not the brightest candle on the cake),is that all of his young school age fans would all start shooting free-throws underhanded. What an A-hole. As for Slam magazine, to put Shaq up there at #4 overall is enough reason to NEVER buy that rag ever again. OK, I vented and I’ve got nothing else. As Ringo Starr put it: PEACE AND LOVE,PEACE AND LOVE,PEACE AND LOVE.

  14. Aaaahhhh… always good to talk hoops with ya’, Snake. Have you purchased your Sheed jersey yet?

    I’m not sure if you’ve ever visited that basketball reference site. The links are in the post. It’s among the best of the best when it comes to checking numbers. Definitely worth the bookmark.

    Shaq’s career rebounds are barely above Barkley’s with considerably more years played.

  15. Well stated as usual Pep…but for my taste, (in spite of the fact that I was not one of your consultees), Shaq, while a clear presence in the game, would be hard pressed to make my top 50. I like what he has done for the game from a PR standpoint, but he was a big baby at LSU and he’s been a baby while in the league. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate his contributions to L.A.’s string of championships, but overall, he is just a big presence with limited skills. Good to be sure, great…not even close.

  16. Wow!

    Mony tells it like it is from the West Coast and Shaq doesn’t even make his top 50?

    Dayum. I guess I made my point.

    Are you listening, Slam Magazine?

  17. Chris

    In recent years Shaq’s become nothing more than a mercenary for hire ! . Have character , a smile , will travel for work and the money. Beyond that, is there really much else to be said ?

    So Michael Beasley really does suffer from depression ? Or is it , really the fact that this numb-skull during the offseason is too lazy to get off his a_s and improve his game ? The fact that he spends more of his time being a member of the Ricky Williams School of the Performing Arts in terms of the amount of weed he ingest into his system , tells you all that you need to know about the kid ? WTF was Pat Riley thinking to begin with ? It was widely known that the kid had character issues and flaws. Since when have you known Riley to turn a youngster around ? And not only that his (Beasley’s) game wasn’t all that to begin with ! It was more hype than anything else !

    Slam Magazine, isn’t that mean to be allgedly the NBA fans’ answer for , NBA Basketball for Dummies ? Whatever info they’re passing on, would be better off being written on a roll Charmin’ tissue paper and then wipin’ your a_s with it , for all of the use it’d do.

    They call themselves journalists and highly evolved aficionados of the game ? That’s like saying you heard a rumor that Paris Hilton did indeed graduate from Johns Hopkins with a degree in medicine. Faux pas and it just couldn’t happen . She ain’t that bright, nor is anyone within Slam Magazine who purports to be a writer for mag to begin with ! LOL, LOL,LOL !!!

    Here’s my latest . It’s on the Cleveland Browns. Let me know what you think as to the merits of the piece ? As and when you’re ready I’ll look forward to reading your comments.

    Oh To Be A Cleveland Browns’ Fan Who’s Laughing ? Shame On You …. !

    Be on the watch for Plax’s interview on <a href=”http://espn.go.com/”ESPN’s E60 tonight. It’ll be full of laughs. As he tries to assert that the security at the Latin Quarter Club , knowingly allowed him into the club with a concealed weapon. That’s the sort of bulls_it you can only but laugh at ! I guess that’s what his lawyer meant, when he states there were mitigating circumstances ? Why the hell won’t these athletes be man enough to admit that they were just stupid ? Instead of acting like a bunch of pu_sies ! Oh it wasn’t my fault that I took an unlicensed weapon into a club . The bouncers made me do it ! What sh_t to begin with ! Unfortunately the gun should’ve gone off and either blew away his testicles or better yet created a wound in his femoral artery. That way he could’ve bled out and to his timely death !

    Alan Parkins

  18. Shaq was hardly a mercenary in Phoenix even though that’s what they intended him to be. In fact, the only thing he may have destroyed was Steve Kerr’s career.

    I don’t think Riley can relate to today’s youth. Besides, he has his nose so far up Wade’s butt, I don’t think he’s aware there’s anyone else on his roster.

    Slam, basketball for dummies, nice.

    I’ll watch that Plax interview, although he makes it sound like it was okay that he was carrying a piece because security let him in, which has no bearing at all on the case. He had an illegal weapon on his person. Case closed, at least according to Mr Bloomberg. I think Plax’ll be voting for the other guy in the next election. At least he can play for Adam Sandler now in Longest Yard III.

  19. Chris

    Kerr’s career as an exec with the Phoenix Suns was long destroyed before Shaq rode into town on his burro. Come on now !

    And it’s not even a case where it was about schemes. The personnel there in Phoenix was never up to the task. That team was just good enough to lure the fans in terms of the regular season. Come the postseason it was like watching an icecap melt under the pressure of the heat.

    Plax makes good sense. If I can’t blame myself then I look to apportion it elsewhere. Afterall that’s the what they’re now being taught all over the place. And nowhere embodies this , than in collegiate athletics and the NFL as a whole .

    If he’s going to be taking acting lessons. Then the first role he may play will be who’s bi_ch am I ?

    Alan Parkins

  20. Chris

    Riles trying to relate to today’s youth is akin’ to Mitt Romney hittin’ parts of Overtown, Miami lookin’ for votes. Or or Sarah Palin wantin’ to become a member of Salt-N-Pepa . They just don’t know how to relate with today’s youth at all, on any level, no matter what their ethnicity !

    So Lou I Can’t Spittin’ Saliva Holtz believes that Notre Dame and Florida will be playing for the BCS national championship ? Well at least he got one of the teams right and it ain’t Notre Dame ! He’d have been more credible had he mentioned Penn State instead of those sorry as_sed Fightin Irish ! They’ve not been relevant on the national level in eons. And they’re meant to be in the AP Top 25 rankings ?

    Who’s now doing the rankings, kids in Pre-K with their Crayola ?

    NCAA ESPN Top 25 College Football rankings poll

    Alan Parkins

  21. Al… Landing Shaq was really Kerr’s first big move as their GM. He took over the position from D’Antoni in 2007, then landed Shaq that next season.

    Most agreed it was a bad move and didn’t fit their identity. That proved to be true.

    And you’re right. It will be refreshing when an athlete screws up and finally admits doing so instead of shifting the blame elsewhere.

  22. SarahPalINDERELLA.

    She might not be as far away from joining Salt n Pepa as you think.

    Not too many MCs these days spit quite like Lou Holtz. If they did, they’d clear out the front few rows of the concert hall.

  23. Here’s my top five:

    1. MJ
    2. Kareem
    3. Magic
    4. Bird
    5. Duncan

    I have Shaq in my top ten, along with Wilt, Russell, Kobe, and Oscar.

    In all honesty, Shaq probably deserves to be placed ahead of Wilt and Russell.

    Russell has 11 rings, but he had no offensive skill whatsoever, and he was fortunate to play with 7 Hall of Famers. Wilt posted astronomical numbers, but many of those totals are inflated because of pace:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=1423

    The same rule applies to Oscar Robertson. (Click the link and you’ll see what I mean.)

    Shaq was a dominant player, but he never won a rebounding title, and he was (and is) sub-par defensively.

    MJ: Enough said.
    Kareem: Six rings, six MVPs, 3 national championship at UCLA, all-time scoring leader. Jabbar is criminally underrated by most NBA observers.
    Magic: 5 rings, greatest point guard of all-time.
    Bird: You could make a very good case that Bird was better than Magic. He didn’t win as many rings, but he was a 3-time MVP, and his supporting cast never measured up to Magic’s.
    Duncan: Greatest two-way player of all-time.

  24. Ladies and gentlemen… the Hoff has spoken. That’s why he is one of the premier basketball bloggers around.

    It’s his gymnasium, y’all. We’re all just payin’ rent.

  25. Chris

    ’til I see Palin puts some a_s for all to see. I wouldn’t put her up there with Spinderella at all !

    As for Holtz I think that he was under the mistaken presumption that when asked ’bout the Fightin’ Irish’s hopes , he must’ve felt they were talking about when he was in fact coaching them to great seasons. All that Weis has done is to drag that program down into the depths of ineptitude and then some !

    And we’re led to believe that they’re still relevant. That’s like saying a vote in the Afghani elections are actually worth something at present. Nothing could be further from the truth !

    Kerr’s insight into assessing NBA talent is like the mindset of the Treasury and Federal Reserve combined when it comes to dealing with the US economy. Neither has any rationale behind the decisions being made . They’re just throwing sh_t up against the wall. In the hope that some of it’ll stick. That’s the modus operandi of Kerr , Bernanke and Geithner. Brutha’ can you spare a dime ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Here’s my most recent piece.

    And The Survey Says ……….

    Alan Parkins

  26. Chris

    I’d already seen the Plax interview and it confirms my worse suspicions concerning a number of NFL players. They’re as dumb as a box rocks ! I hope someone tosses his salad while he’s holed up in prison !

    Alan Parkins

  27. Chris

    You and I both know that there’s no prerequsite for playing in the NFL. I mean if you get above 15 on the Wonderlic you’re in . That being said that’s not meant to be an indication of anything grand at all. Can you imagine if that had been Maurice Clarett ?

    As to the Pitino scandal. Did I not tell you that there’d be more to come ? And all of sanctimonious bullcrap that he hasn’t done anything wrong. Simply look at his actions and the way he’s carried himself and you could tell that was going to be a great deal more to come. As of now it’s proving to be more of an embarrassment for the AD Tom Jurrich and university president James Ramsey. As they’ve all gone to bat for Pitino without recourse. That’s just sheer stupidity on their part without having even conducted their own investigation as to what transpired.

    Here are my two most recent pieces.

    To Know Me Is To Love Me What The Hell Is Wrong With The NHL ?

    And The Survey Says

    So Papelbon isn’t too happy that the Red Sox have acquired Billy Wagner ? No Brokeback Mountain moment there then ?

    Nice to see that there’s camaraderie in the locker room . Who needs Man-Ram to begin with ? When you’ve now got that sort of cordiality to begin with. LOL, LOL,LOL !!!!

    Alan Parkins

  28. Chris

    I’ve no doubt that winning will make everyone feel good about themselves at the end of the day. But if the Vikes should go 2-3 or 1-4 , after the first 5 games . Then look for there to be turmoil in the locker room and for Childress to be sweating bullets. His cojones will be placed firmly within a vice ,should things start to head south !

    The site and posts are gonna be placed within mvn.com. (http://mvn.com) But if anything I’ll still post within the current site and then repost there as well. It’s not my own personal choice . But that’s what the main proprietor wants.
    Most of the widgets there aren’t on par with what’s there within wordpress . And much of that site’s tools are definitely archaic !
    The only thing they’ve in effect got going for it, is volume of traffic .

    Most recent pieces .

    To Know Me Is To Love Me What The Hell Is Wrong With The NHL ?

    And The Survey Says ….

    As and when you’re ready I’ll look forward to reading your comments.

    Alan Parkins

  29. With a Grossman-like passer rating, Favre’s games started streak could come to a close in the first quarter of the season and T Jackson will finally get his starting job back.

    Waste of 12 million, anyone?

  30. Chris

    Vikes’ owner, Zygi Wilf , felt it was worthwhile spending the $12 mil’ on Favre , rather than have his players guys have a blowout at his expense on Lk Minnetonka with a couple of hookers. LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Who can forget that infamous event ?

    As to T Jac , I think he’ll have his problems. But I certainly don’t feel that Childress has treated he or Rosenfels fairly, to begin with. The Vikings’ organization is a complete joke from top to bottom. And it starts with the owner Zygi Wilf , on down.

    As to Dickie V . You’re right, it is a brotherly fraternity. A brotherly fraternity of a_sholes and morons !

    I hear that Raheem Morris is open to trading any of his three qb’s not named Josh Freeman ? What the hell is now going on there ? Is this the sort of stupidity we’re now to expect from the organization ? Morris is really showing his inexperience and sheer naivete’ to begin with. The Glazers’ll rue the day they made the decision to promote both he and Mark Dominik !

    Alan Parkins

  31. Re the Bucs QB situation, they’ve got capable people back there. I think McCown’s outplayed the gang. I don’t see why they would want to trade for a band-aid with two games left to play before the season starts. I thought that’s what Leftwich was. And who do they have that has any trade value anyway?

    That Rays loss last night is one that sinks a season. We’ll see if that bears true.

  32. Chris

    I for one don’t know what it is Raheem is trying to do. But so far it just ain’t cuttin’ it with me !

    He’s oohing and aahing over the performances of Cadillac Williams . The guy has literally done nothing since his first four professional games in the NFL . It’s been downhill ever since ! I know he <em<(Morris) wants the Bucs’ fans to feel good about this team. But so far, he’s making himself look a fool !

    Here’s a link to a story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

    Bucs willing to make a deal ….

    In the St Pete Times


    Once starter decided Tampa Bay Buccaneers might deal a left-over quarterback not named Josh Freeman

    Whether or not it’s mere speculation . It makes for great reading. The fans’ll either vacillate or they’ll accept it for what it is .

    With regard to the Rays . They’d dug themselves into an ever deepening hole. They’ve been too inconsistent for their own good. And it is leading to their eventual downfall. They’ve only themselves to blame.

    Alan Parkins

  33. I’ll take a look at that piece but I don’t see how there’s any takers out there for any of the people they’re looking to shop.

    This is probably something that should have been thought of in the offseason.

  34. Another thought provoking post, Chris. Shaq’s contributions to championship teams can’t be overlooked. However, there is no question that he is a deeply flawed and narcissistic human being.

    BTW, I’m a huge hoops fan as well and never have been inclined to buy Slam. Based on that list I don’t think there is any rush for me to do so now…

  35. PJ…. As I said in the post, I had never picked it up either. Seems like more of a pictorial than any hard-hitting hoops analysis.

    If you’re into hoops, definitely keep coming back as I’m about to pick it up come football and basketball season.

    There’s a few writers in my “Friends of SportsChump” link that also know exactly what they’re talking about.

    Probably moreso than Slam.

  36. Well, to tell the truth, a list like that is always going to cause debate, which is probably one of the reasons SLAM and many other publications write them. Personally, I love lists like that. I think one thing to always consider is what set of qualifications you are using to measure “who’s the best”?

    For example, you ask an older person who is the best center and they’ll probably say Bill Russell. Why? Probably because they’ve seen them play, Russell dominated the game (although in a different… I would point to him blocking shots to his teammates with ridiculously efficiently as one), he has a TON of rings, and he’s a great ambassador for the game. All valid.

    However, if you ask me, I’d say Hakeem Olajuwon because I’ve seen him play, he dominated the game with his boards, blocks, and a nimbleness never before seen from a center, he has two rings, and I hated him. Knicks fan, here… yes, feel my pain.

    Look, there is no denying how much of a force Shaq was in his prime, but even still, I saw him get schooled by The Dream. Maybe it’s selective memory, but I don’t ever remember seeing Olajuwon get schooled by anyone. And that’s why I would select Hakeem as the greatest center.

    Plus, something I like to think about is… who would I choose on my team right now with all things being equal and the player at his peak? So, considering I’d take Hakeem as my center, you can guess that I think Shaq as the best OVERALL player is kind of headscratching to me. But, hey, that’s me.

  37. Exactly, DV. The Dream was just nasty.

    One of my favorite Dream stories is one that Kenny Smith told on TNT one night.

    It was the year David Robinson won the MVP. They honored him before the game. Right before a playoff game against the Rockets, Hakeem told the Jet that he was going to school Robinson that night.

    The Dream put up 40+.

    Very nice.

  38. Chris

    Here are things I for one would like to see the Bucs do. Return a punt for a second time in the team’s illustrious history. Actually show that they have an offense to speak of. And how about Morris stop making excuses for a couple of pansies on the team in Antonio Bryant and Kellen Winslow . How the f__k can you have allegedly your two best offensive weapons not actually suit up for any of the preseason games and play a down. A stubbed toe and allegedly a bruised tendon are what’s said to be ailing them ?

    There’s nothing but a bunch of wusses on this Bucs’ team. And embodies everything that the organization is now said to be actually about. They do things in half measures and such an asinine way !

    Alan Parkins

  39. Al… it wasn’t a punt return, it was a kickoff return. My stepdad and I were actually at that game. As soon as he broke free and looked like the team was finally going put that record to rest, the stadium went absolutely nuts.

    I too would like to see some solid special teams play. I have a feeling our offense is going to need the help.

    This team cannot continue to rely on its defense to bail them out as they have in the past.

  40. Damn, awesome website. I actually came across this on Bing, and I am happy I did. I will definately be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the posts here and bring a bit more to the table, but am just absorbing as much info as I can at the moment.

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