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Stephen A. Smith: ‘Shaq Is The Most Dominant Force In NBA History’

(via ESPN)

(via ESPN)

Kobe Bryant’s recent comments towards Shaquille O’Neal and his lack of work ethic really made people wonder whether that was true or not and which one was the best player during their best days.

There were a lot of ongoing debates about this topic during the week, as everybody echoed Kobe’s statements. ESPN’s analyst Stephen A. Smith joined the conversation and broke down why Shaq was the most dominant player in the history of the league, putting him ahead of several legends.

During a recent edition of the ‘Stephen A. Smith Show’, the analyst picked O’Neal as the ‘most dominant force in NBA history,' but making it clear that to succeed, he'd pick a guard over a big man.

“I know a lot of people who look at me aren’t going to like this. Shaq in his prime, how the hell could you prefer Kobe in his prime? Ladies and gentleman, it’s simple. Shaquille O’Neal is the biggest force I have ever seen in the history of basketball. I only got tapes of Wilt Chamberlain, I saw Shaquille O’Neal.

“Shaquille O’Neal, at 325, 350 pound is the most dominant force I have ever seen on a basketball court, but I would never ever pick a center over a guard or a wing player because the big man needs the guard to take care of him. The guard don’t need that.”

Then he went on to explain how guards like Michael Jordan won several titles with not so talented big men and big men who needed a guard to finally win a championship in the league, like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Magic Johnson, or Shaq with Kobe and Dwyane Wade.

“Shaquille O’Neal is the most dominant force I’ve seen. Did he win the title with Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel? How about with Penny Hardaway? Dennis Scott? Did he win a title? No. But when he had Kobe, what happened? When he had Dwyane Wade, what happened? I’m going to take a guard/wing player over a big man, a 7-foot bona fide center any day of the week.”

“... The fact that matters is, you need a guard, unless you got a forward that can step away from the basket and is a threat on the perimeter. Period. (...) This is not to say that Kobe was better or he was more dominant than Shaq. What I’m saying is that in the sport of basketball, a wing player that is elite can do more for you than a big man who is elite.”

Smith is not wrong with his claims. A big man hardly ever can take a team to win a title, and one of the recent examples of that was Dwight Howard and his Orlando Magic, who were unable to defeat Kobe and the Lakers. Elite centers help teams, but when they’re paired up with an elite guard, things take a different dimension for their squads.