Before Dwight Howard, There Was Shaquille O’Neal
I 've never saw the 95 Shaq before and I am shocked. How much did he weight then? He was so athletic! Bringing the call up to the other end of the court, unbelievable.
Man... That highlight reel really brings back a lot of memories (not to mention those Starter brand ads being everywhere) and it reminds me of why I chose the Magic to be my team. I remember when he made a 3 point bank shot with the clock winding down. He's electrifying to watch back then. Now he's twice the size!
I was just loosely comparing them in the title, given they're both centers.
Shaq was on a different level when he came out of LSU, not only because of his imposing physical nature but also due to the fact he was a very polished player when it came to his skill-set. Shaq averaged 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks in his first year in the NBA -- that's unheard of for a rookie.
Man, Shaq and Penny in their athletic primes... Mind-blowing. I really would pay a good amount of money to just have the '94 or '95 season on DVD or something.
It's going to be a long time before there's anyone like Shaq. Sorry Dwight, I love you and all, but Shaq was on a different level. As Tom said, if he was more serious about basketball and staying in shape, it would've been a different story. How many players are driving forces on 4 title teams without having a Kobe/Duncan/MJ/Bird kind of commitment level? Dude was probably the most physically gifted big man ever.
*sigh* - this is like finding a photo album of your supermodel ex-girlfriend that dumped you a decade ago that you've tried to forget about.
He was the man. I grew up watching Shaq - had the lifesize shaq cutout, endless "shaq attack" gear, the video the magic put out "Shaq - larger than life" - I even have shaq attack pepsi bottles in my garage still. I bought Shaq Fu, Da Return!!! "Cream ya like cheese, spread ya on my bagel." Not enough? "Do you want me to pass it? Nooo! Do you want me to shoot it? Nooo! Do you want me to slam it? Yeaaah!"
...I'll stop. All of this is why he is known as the "traitorous dog" in our house now. Heartbroken..... but the times we had.
Yeah, you kinda forget how he was during his magic years... my memory of him has always been the lumbering giant he was with the lakers, not this freak of nature.
In a way, he was more LeBron before LeBron than he is Dwight before Dwight.