San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal are arguably two of the premier big men in the NBA of recent years. Both dominated in their own way. Whether it be Duncan’s high basketball IQ to outsmart any would-be defender or O’Neal’s brute force, both brought opposing teams their worst nightmare whenever they set foot on the court.
Now that O’Neal has called it a career and Duncan is still hanging on in the NBA, the question of who was the better big man still rages on and probably will continue to into the future.
To debate this hotly contested topic, Bloguin’s own Don over at With-Malice, invited Project Spurs’ Mike De Leon and other esteemed bloggers to weigh in on this debate. Here is a snippet of what was said:
I can’t possibly sit here and pick Shaquille O’Neal over Tim Duncan or vice versa. They’re just too different, yet identical in their impact. Shaquille O’Neal was all about power, with some agility sprinkled into his game in his early years (my favorite Shaq play was the high post, spin, lob from Penny Hardaway for the nasty finish). Timmy was always crafty with his post moves and signature bank shot, even though he’d occasionally power through someone on a finish.
The question essentially boils down to whether popularity matters. If we’re looking at impact, statesmanship, role, proficiency, all-around efficiency, and what he gave his team night in and night out, it’s Duncan. But Duncan wasn’t the cultural phenomenon. His highlights aren’t played over and over again. He never broke the backboard, nailed the oop dunk and ran down like Oprah had given him a car, never gave the postgame pressers or dropped his own nicknames. Duncan just won, and produced, and worked. None of this is new information.
Now I know you are all curious as to which player Mike picked. Did he represent all Spurs fans and go with Duncan or did he do the unfathomable and go with one of the Spurs’ biggest nemesis O’Neal?
Click HERE to find out and leave us your comments on which player you side with.