Michael Jordan Confronted by His Protégé, Reflecting on a Divisive Claim, 28 Years After Declining Shaquille O’Neal’s Assistance

Shaquille O’Neal was a true force of nature on the court. While he’s now famous as a media personality, and known for his generosity, on the court: he was a bad, bad man. While people argue between LeBron James & Michael Jordan as the GOAT, the most dominant player award belongs to one man only. At his apex, Big Diesel was a truly terrifying opponent. It was practically impossible to stop him. Defenders were judged by their ability to simply slow him down. Despite a whole new era of bigs gracing the NBA now, comparisons to Shaq are still running wild.

Shaquille O'Neal claims Jordan, Hakeem and Bird would get swept against  him, Kobe, and LeBron: "IN A SEVEN GAME SERIES THEY GET SWEPT"

 

So, when the 4-time champion brought up a debate between himself and Joel Embiid, the NBA world responded.

A former Lakers champion showers praise on Shaquille O’Neal

 

A less popular fact is that Shaquille O’Neal is the only player to beat Michael Jordan in a playoff series post-1991. In the midst of Jordan’s two 3-peats, he faced off against Shaq’s Orlando Magic in the 1995 playoffs. Despite that being the season of Jordan’s first return post-retirement, his Bulls were considered the favorites. However, Shaq served barbecue chicken to the Bulls and his Magic went on to win the series in six games.

 

They simply had no answer for the dynamic big. And Shaq believes that the 2023 MVP Joel Embiid would be similarly at a loss if he faced Shaq in his prime.

 

 

 

 

Shaq reposted someone saying that Joel Embiid would “lock up and contain a prime Shaq.” O’Neal claimed that his views were well-known before sending out, “#barbecuechickenalert.” While most fans agreed with Shaq, former Laker Ron ‘Metta World Peace’ Artest had an interesting take on Shaq’s legacy.

Artest believed that the rules were changed to favor perimeter players over paint scorers. “My favorite player MJ had calls go his way. Shaq had calls go the opposite way. Hack a Shaq was another term created for one man.”

Despite being a protege of MJ, Metta made some bold claims about Shaq’s play. “I’m just saying. Shaq got bored. Guys. They changed the rules for Shaq. And they let players beat him up without any flagrants. Shaq would’ve averaged 43 points if they didn’t change the rules.”

Lakers Kobe Bryant bumps chests with Shaquille O’Neal after O’Neal got fouled scoring in the first half during the First Round of the Western Conference Playoffs at Staples Center Sunday April 21, 2002.Trailblazer Damon Stoudamire looks on from the left. Lakers won 95–87. (Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Then, he went a step further, saying, “So Shaq is arguably the greatest player ever, depending which day it is.” 

Back to the Orlando-Chicago series, however, where MJ taught Shaquille O’Neal a valuable lesson.

Shaq learns an important lesson from Michael Jordan

 

During the series, Big Diesel himself claims that he was scared of being dunked on by Mike. As a result, when Jordan took off for a potential slam, O’Neal committed a hard foul on No.23. But he quickly learned his lesson.

While he went to help Jordan up like a good sportsman, MJ rejected his help. He told Shaq, “Don’t ever help nobody up. Great foul. I don’t do that. I don’t need your help. But I’m coming back, don’t you worry.” 

 

At that moment, Shaq understood true greatness. Thankfully, he took Michael Jordan‘s advice and continued to make his own case for the greatest of all time.

NBA news 2021: Michael Jordan, Shaq selling homes, real estate, mansions,  net worth | news.com.au — Australia's leading news site

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