On why Hakeem was better than Shaq:
Hakeem was more skilled, had a better work ethic, won with worse teammates, beat Shaq in the playoffs, was a better shooter, defender and passer… I mean, what else is there to say?
Shaq’s prime in the early 2000’s featured zero hall of fame centers for him to face. This is not his fault obviously, but my point is that lack of competition at Center during his prime with the Lakers definitely makes me lean towards Hakeem in this debate.
Hakeem had to face Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Patrick Ewing, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Charles Barkley, David Robinson, Karl Malone ALL IN THEIR PRIME!
Shaq on the other hand, got to face Centers who were past their prime, like Rik Smits, Vlade Divac and Arvydas Sabonis… like c’mon.
You can’t convince me that Shaq was a better player than Hakeem, period.
Put Shaq on the Rockets by himself (fine, I’ll even give him a past-his-prime Drexler) and he never even sniffs the NBA finals in his career. He always needed Penny, Kobe or D-Wade as his sidekick to help carry the load.
Hakeem did it with practically unknowns for the most part.
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