Hakeem was better because…
He was a better defender, rebounder and passer
One thing that people never mention is how bad of a defender Shaq was. He could never guard the pick and roll, and would struggle against shooting bigs who would take him out of the key. Shaq’s inside defense was also extremely overrated.
Shaq NEVER been named to the All-Defensive first-team.
Shaq NEVER won Defensive Player of the Year.
Shaq NEVER led the league in blocks.
Shaq NEVER led the league in rebounds.
Hakeem was 5-time All-Defensive team first team member.
Hakeem was 2-time Defensive Player of the Year.
Hakeem led the league in blocks 3 times.
Hakeem led the league in rebounds 2 times.
It’s pretty unbelievable how bad Shaq was on one-side of the basketball court. There’s no way a guy of Shaq’s stature couldn’t lead the NBA in blocks and rebounds every single year of his prime. But he couldn’t do it once, not for blocks or rebounds.