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Shaquille O'Neal Says Anthony Davis Is Not A Big Man: "Power Forwards And Big Men Are Two Different Categories. Period."

(via USA Today)

(via USA Today)

As a 7x All-Star, 4x All-NBA Player, 4x All-Defensive Player, and 1x NBA Champion, there is no question that Anthony Davis is one of the best players in the league.

But when it comes to the semantics of his position on the court, things get a little more complicated.

Officially, Davis is classified power forward, though he often played center for the Lakers this past season. For most, Davis can be considered a "big man" based on his size and where he plays his position.

For legendary Lakers "big man" Shaquille O'Neal, however, he should be classified as a "power forward" instead.

In O''Neal's view, a "big man" and "power forward" are two different things because, well, they play different roles and styles. Guys like Shaq, Hakeem, and Mutombo used their size and physicality to dominate in the post and around the rim. Guys like Duncan, Pau Gasol, and Dirk Nowitzki seem to fit other characteristics.

Of course, the true "big man" has seemingly gone extinct in the modern NBA. The small-ball, three-point heavy system has seen a lot of traditions abandoned and guys like AD, who have the height of a "big" are playing more like forwards who drive, shoot, and dribble.

But, no matter what you consider Davis to be, it's clear that the NBA center has changed over the years. Its importance and role have dwindled since the rise of the modern era, and it's rare that we see traditional style play anymore. Shaq may have really been among the last of a dying breed.