However, even someone as great as O’Neal can be discounted when compared to modern NBA players.
One of the most popular pastimes for basketball fans is to weigh the icons from the past against the All-Stars of the present.
Even O’Neal is getting into the debate.
Shaq was told that he couldn’t play in today’s NBA:
His response: “You’re not paying attention, I am playing today. My name is Greek Freak.”
(Reddit u/WhenMachinesCry) pic.twitter.com/H6d3SFwgkv
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) September 8, 2022
When talking about him playing in the NBA of 2022, O’Neal was adamant he’d be a huge presence and compared himself to one of the best in the game.
“You’re not paying attention, I am playing today. My name is Greek Freak,” O’Neal said, seemingly drawing parallels between himself and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
That is a pretty big, bold claim – even for O’Neal.
The Original Freak
There is no doubt that O’Neal was a dominant force in the league during his tenure and easily earned all his praise, trophies, and awards.
At the same time, there are some stark differences between him and Antetokounmpo.
Perhaps the most notable would be Antetokounmpo’s ability to score a deep two or three-pointer.
Granted, this doesn’t happen often but it was remarkably rare for O’Neal.
In fact, during his 19 years in the NBA, O’Neal landed just one three-pointer.
Antetokounmpo, on the other hand, has scored 447 of them.
Now, the two should rightfully be compared in other ways, including their physicality and their absolute dominance in terms of size and power.
Both O’Neal and Antetokounmpo sometimes cannot be stopped when they get moving.
It would be great to see these two square off but since that’s not possible we can continue to speculate like O’Neal is doing.