For a championship, the Magic Johnson team was created from Orlando. In Penny Hardaway, they had a young, athletically talented point guard, potent perimeter scorers in Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott, a seasoned big man with three Horace Grant championships to his name (’91-’93) and in the center, of course, the Big Fella. The one thing left to do was to go out and win a title.
In four years in Orlando, Magic Johnson made it to the Conference Finals and made its NBA Finals debut in 1995. The fact how many championships the Magic would have won if the band were together.
But according to Nick Anderson, all championships left with Shaq when he decided to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996.
The man with many names revealed earlier this summer to all of his Twitter followers that he would retire from the basketball game after 19 long NBA seasons.
In the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal was an irresistible force and could only be slowed down by one man.
Shaquille O’Neal was by far the most influential and entertaining player in the NBA, from Michael Jordan’s second (and what should have been the last) retirement in 1998 to the development of young superstars as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
The Lakers, in my view, are where we will remember the legacy of Shaq. It was in Los Angeles that he received the MVP trophy in the 2000 league. What brought Shaq from superstar status to iconic status was those eight years in Los Angeles.
Shaq conveys, “I am here because of Magic Johnson and Dr. J.”
So if someone asks, “Is Shaq, the most talented person?” The answer is pretty obvious. In an Interview, Shaq conveys, “I owe everything to Magic Johnson. You know he was the first guy to smile and do commercials and movies. Also, Dr. J as I got my style and charisma from him.”
In return, a question was asked, “Who would win in a dance-off? You were Magic?” He replies, “Oh me, of course.”
Another question asked, “Who is a better DJ, you or Dr. J?” To which he replies, “Oh me, of course.”
So why are we even comparing is the question? Shaq conveys, “If it were not for them, it would be no me. Besides, I am not like these youngsters who do not pay respect to their elders. I am always sure that I respect my elders. So when someone asks me who the best big man is in the game? I know it is me. But I would not say it. I am not going to say it.”
The NBA looked a lot different during the first half of Shaq’s career. From Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, and David Robinson to Kevin Garnett, Chris Webber, and Tim Duncan, a more excellent pool of talented future Hall of Fame giants.
Despite intense competition in the center, night in and night out, Shaq proved to shine and rise above the rest.
The league became more guard-oriented around the last half of his career. Thus, allowing him to remain as one of the top 10 big men.
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