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Shaquille O'Neal Says Modern Centers Are "Soft"

(via Awful Announcing)

(via Awful Announcing)

Shaq is cleary not a fan of today's NBA.

As one of the most dominant big man in league history, Shaquille O'Neal abused his opponents under the rim, using his size and strength to score at will. In 20 pro-seasons, Shaq earned 15 All-Star appearances, 14 All-NBA selections, and 4 NBA Championships as he averaged 23 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2,5 assists on 58% shooting.

As for bigs today -- they are, according to Shaq, just flat-out soft.

“It depends on what type of big man you’re talking about,” Shaquille O’Neal told Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Heavy. “See the title ‘big man’ is anyone at the five position, right? So you know, I hear people say oh big guys can shoot. The game is evolving…us older big guys don’t look at it as evolving. We look at it as soft.

“Because guys don’t want to get down there and bang. Which is okay. You know, new era new generation, I can’t tell them how to play, I can’t tell them what to do. I can give them hints every now and then on how to make the game easier. Look, I was the first big guy to take it coast to coast and do all that, but the game was easier to take the high percentage shots. Imagine me trying to do that in the Finals. Bringing the ball up. We wouldn’t win.

“So you know, when you’re a big guy, you have to use your abilities to get highest percentage shot for you to win. The team that shoots the highest percentage from the free throw line, or field goal percentage from the 3, is that team that always wins. Analytics or not. That’s the facts.”

The modern big man is more of a stretch-five than anything. Guys like Al Horford, Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis, Anthony Davis and others seem more inclined to shoot from distance than work down-low.

In an age where 3-point shooting is everything, it's not exactly a bad thing.

But for Shaq, and many other legendary big men like him, it always be taboo.