Hakeem was better because…
He was more clutch
Was Shaq someone you could rely on down the stretch to win you games? No. I can’t recall a Shaq “game-winner” lol. That’s because the one who was taking the big shot was always Kobe on the Lakers, and D-Wade in Miami. You can’t put the ball in Shaq’s hands in the clutch because they would just foul his ass (there’s a reason the word “Hack-A-Shaq” exists).
On the other hand, Hakeem was the guy who always took the big shot in Houston. And when it was guys like Mario Elie or Kenny Smith who hit big shots, it was because the other team took the ball out of Hakeem’s hands (double team, etc). You can’t foul him like you can with Shaq, you just have to hope he misses or pray that his shooters around him miss on a kick out (they rarely did).