In the modern era, the question of who’s the all-time greatest big man in the NBA often starts with Shaquille O’Neal, and then proceeds to include Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell. But without ESPN Classic, it’s hard for many young NBA fans to grasp how good the “old school” centers really were.
Today, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar weighed in on the debate.
On NBA.com, there is an interesting interview with Abdul-Jabbar that starts with commonplace answers surrounding whether the Lakers can win it all without Andrew Bynum and why Tim Duncan (not Shaq) is the greatest big man of this generation. But it’s his thoughts on Shaq’s assessment that he and Kobe are the best big-man, little-man combo in NBA history that sets off some alarms.
NBA.com: Shaq is quoted as saying he and Kobe are the best big-man, little-man combo in NBA history. What do you think?
Kareem: He’s entitled to think what he thinks. It doesn’t really faze me what his thoughts are on that. He has his idea of what his place is in the game. I’m not going to dispute it.
While the diss isn’t extremely overt, it’s clear what Kareem is thinking. A six-time NBA champion and league MVP during his brilliant 20-year career, Abdul-Jabbar isn’t ready to hand anything over just yet.
What is Shaq’s place in the game? Are he and Kobe the best big-man, little-man combo in NBA history?