Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal are widely considered two of the greatest centers of all time. The two Los Angeles Lakers legends are often included on these types of lists, with fans and analysts giving their two pennies on who ranks higher than the other.
Not so long ago, Shaq told on Instagram that he was the 4th greatest center of all time, even though many people think he should rank higher. These two are often pitted against each other. You'll get various responses depending on who you ask.
Two years ago, Kareem was asked how he would approach going against Shaq, with the 6x NBA champion explaining that The Big Diesel lived and died at the paint, which could give him an advantage. Moreover, he said that his iconic skyhook shot would give O'Neal some trouble (0:38).
“I don’t know,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Shaq is a load. Tough guy around the basket with strength and agility that he had around the basket. He didn’t have much of a shot away from the basket. Four feet away from the basket, he was approaching to being ordinary. I would make him work, shooting a bunch of hook shots that he wouldn’t be able to guard, but who knows. You gotta go out there and put it to the test.
Hypothetical scenarios will never have a consensus response. There are many factors that people have to consider before making a choice, and it's very difficult to compare players from different eras.
Still, KAJ is confident he can make Shaq work to get the win. Skip Bayless is one of the people that thinks O'Neal would dominate not only Kareem but Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. The 4x NBA champion isn't shy to ask these questions, even if fans don't side with him.
These questions are really hard to answer even for the players involved. Everybody was great during their era, doing the most with whatever they were given.