Hakeem was better because…
He played against better competition
Let’s get right into it… Hakeem played against a TON of hall of fame centers in the greatest era of big men in NBA history in their primes. Let me just name a few: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Patrick Ewing, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Charles Barkley, David Robinson, Karl Malone and Shaq.
Now please tell me who the heck Shaq played against when he was in his prime… Arvydas Sabonis, Dikembe Mutombo and Rik Smits??? (who were all way past their primes mind you). C’mon. It’s not close. Shaq played against some very shitty big men when he was in his prime on the Lakers.
Not only did Hakeem play against the best, he WON against the best. I hope I don’t need to remind you that Hakeem led his Rockets to the 1986 finals, beating the Showtime Lakers with Magic and Kareem. Or that he completely dominated 1995 MVP David Robinson in the playoffs, or that he took take care of Shaq and Ewing in back to back NBA Finals. Nah, I don’t have to remind you that happened LOL.