Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 at 9:25 am  |  65 responses

Shaq: Dwight Howard Faces No Real Competition at Center Position

Though Shaquille O’Neal claims that he has no issue with Dwight Howard — despite numerous shots at him through the media in the past — the Diesel says that Howard doesn’t have to go through anything (or anyone) like Shaq did in his day. From the Times-Picayune: “What can you say about Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard. Are you friends or foes? ‘His mom and my mom are good friends. I don’t have a problem. But my thing is if you want to call yourself me (Superman), then you’ve got big shoes to fill. I’m not in the Superman this, and Superman that. He won a dunk contest with a cape. If you want to be called Superman because of that, it’s fine with me. I’m Superman for other reasons. I don’t envy him; he’s a great young player. But I’ve never seen him dog another center out. I tried to dog centers out. I went at David Robinson. If Dwight doesn’t win two or three championships, I’m going to be disappointed. He doesn’t have nobody. When I came in the league, I had to go through Alonzo Mourning, Arvydas Sabonis, Kevin Duckworth, Rik Smits. Now I can’t name any other centers besides Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum. Who else is there? That’s it.”

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  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    It’s a shame that the best numbers DHow can put vs today’s non-existent bigs is 23/14 with 2.5 blks. Shaq put up those numbers in his rook season. so……Superman>>>>>>>>>Aquafina Boy.

  • RetrOhh

    Like shaq said before he was the LCL (LastCenterLeft)
    The era of the Big-Man is sadly gone, just a unch of athletic 4′s tryna play the 5 spot
    I honestly can’t wait for the next DominantForce in the low post



    Shaq’s right 90′s basketball was NO FUN at the 5 spot. I remember Hakeem making people look stupid out there -cough-David Robinson-.

  • Do Work

    why is shaq always so worried about what dwight howard is doing?

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    I think Shaq needs to lay off Howard already. he claims he doesn’t care about him, but always has Howards name in his mouth. Its not Dwights fault he’s one of the only legit centers in the game. Shaq always played with coaches that new the importance of running the offense through him. When he won rings, he always played with an all-nba caliber guard. These things can’t be said of Dwight Howard.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    I’m going to be honest with everyone here… Dwight is better than every center that Shaq mentioned, including Mourning. Dwight back in the day would be up there with the top centers through the 90′s. His defense alone would do that. Shaq has a little bit of penis envy I think.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I think Shaq is kind of envious of Dwight, but I don’t know why. I’ve always thought Dwight was trying to be like Shaq for some reason…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Shaq also didn’t play with a team that only shoots three’s..

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Y’all do know that Shaq also went up against the likes of Hakeem, Deke, and DRob. Also, DHow is not that much better than Prime Zo. He’s a better rebounder, slightly better scorer and more durable but Zo’s the better defender, better shooter and better FT shooter.

  • Yesse

    Well, i agree. I have been saying the same thing to people who have claimed, that Howard is better than Shaq. I also don’t understand why people even compare him to Shaq.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    lol guys, the reason why Shaq talked about Dwight is cause the reporter asked him.

  • LA Huey

    Why did Shaq mention “Alonzo Mourning, Arvydas Sabonis, Kevin Duckworth, Rik Smits”? He should have tipped his hat to the Admiral, Ewing, and Dream. I mean, the guys he mentioned were quality centers but not HOFers. Shaq’s catty grudge with Dwight is funny though.

  • EJ

    I doubt that Shaq would’ve won any rings with Dwight’s teams. Penny, Kobe, Payton, Malone, Wade, Nash, Amare, Lebron, KG, Pierce and Ray is a nice list, even if a couple of those guys were out of their primes when they played with Shaq. Dwight has never had any all-NBA talent on his team.

  • riggs

    why does shaq always mentions howard? BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS ASK HIM BOUT HOWARD. common sense is lacking…

  • angus

    can we really mention andrew bynum as a formidable center? really?

  • misso

    Shaq needs to shut up D12 is the best center in the game & probably wouldve been the same in the 90′s with Shaq there. D12 is the only man that made Shaq flop lmao (I was there). D12 4 MVP next season if there is one

  • chingy

    Cosign niQ and riggs. People need to read.

    I really think D12 and Zo are neck to neck. Don’t forget how good Zo was on D guys…That being said, being neck to neck with Zo is pretty good.

  • C-Mac

    i think the complete lack of respect and recognition bogut gets in the league is astounding. besides dwight, name me one center in the league right now better than bogut..

  • Dru

    I read a lot of moronic comments on this website but I think the “Dwight is better than every center Shaq” mentioned.. takes the cake. You’re so clueless it’s sad. You couldn’t have possibly watched them play in their prime making a dumb statement like that. So I guess I should chalk it up to ignorance…

  • aussieballer

    did Shaq really just name Kenrick Perkins as one of only two remaining true centers?? he is only 6’10″ and his best season statistically has been ’09/10 when he averaged 10ppg and 8rpg. What about Nene? 15ppg, 8rpg last season. Bogut? 16ppg, 10rpg, all nba third team two years ago. Brook Lopez?? 19ppg, 9rpg. Perkins can’t touch that.

  • aussieballer


  • Yann Blavec

    nobody can deniy that shaq was, and is the best at being interviewed.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • Showtime

    First of All it not D12 fault that he’s an 80′s babie. Come on Shaq.. Be real you didn’t have any comp in the center department when you were stackin your rings in 2000′s. Somebody name one(I’ll wait…) Cause the centers in the 90′s were schooling shaq.( flash back to the 95 finals).By the 2000′s the other allstar centers were all old & wash up- looking like larry holmes. Give where credit due..

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    Yes he was asked, but look at the question and his response. He could have just answered that he has no problem with him and he’s a good young player and left it at that. Instead he takes this as a chance to tell us basically how much better than he is than Dwight despite Dwight has no real competition. To me that means that Dwight is on his mind, whether was he is saying has merit or not.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Shaq names Kevin Duckworth & Rik Smits? I think it would have been smarter (and more respectful) to name – Hakeeem, Ewing, & Mutombo. don’t you

  • Showtime

    @NBk the allstar centers you named he wasn’t able to get anything done till they were well past the prime. So he names the people he went through to get the rings.Which is rik Smits , Duckworth & Sabonis, Zo gets credit but by then very injury prone.

  • allen3

    Maybe Shaq mention those guys who were like the 2nd tier center in the 90 just to prove that DH would not even belong in the 1st class ewing Hakeeem, ZO, DROB,Dekembe(defensivly) This was the best era for the center position .

    and I feel like Hakeem should receive more recognition for being the best center of all-time since he was the best in the best era .
    and ZO would have eaten DH alive
    Nowadays center lack fundamentals, no go to move I don’t even remember the last time I have seen a sky hook they are just a bunch of hyper muscular boys banging in each other.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    No Showtime they weren’t names he went through to get rings, except Sabonis, and they also were not in their prime. Duckworth retired in 1997 – Sabonis was never in his prime at any point in his NBA career – Rik Smits retired in 2000. And too top it all off, he actually had to go through Mutombo IN THE FINALS. unlike the other guys

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Here we go again with the “Shaq was schooled in the 95 Finals” nonsense. Dude avg. 28/13/3 on close to 60% shooting, if that equates into getting schooled, then what do we call the beatdown Shaq gave to the Pacers, Sixers and Nets in the 00s Finals?
    Myths like these wouldn’t continue to be told if people actually went back and watched the games themselves instead of relying on ESPN and Bill Simmons.


    I hope Jevale McGhee steps up over the next 2 & proves the Big Fwlla wrong. At least Javale got heart unlike fake superman.

  • Red Star

    Shaq’s a fool!

  • CubicleWorker

    How can you not co-sign what Shaq is saying? DHow is a three-peat defensive player of the year, and hands down the best at his position, in fact maybe the most important position in the game. If he doesn’t win two or three champtionships, of course that’s a disappointment. And Q-Rich, Agent Zero, Vince Carter, Jason Richardson aren’t bad supporting players either. Of course, not all of this is D12′s fault but Magic should be destroying everybody

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    NO they shouldn’t be killing anyone except Cleveland and those guys you named are horrible. HORRIBLE – and Vince Carter is on the Suns and he’s also HORRIBLE.

  • bike

    “But I’ve never seen him dog another center out. I tried to dog centers out”. What does that mean? If it means backing some dude down and dunking over him, Dwight does that all the time. Both D and Shaq are mirror images of each other–incrediably strong genetic freaks of nature with limited skillsets and inability to shoot free throws.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Shaq was substantially more effective then Dwight Howard on offense. It’s not even close. And Shaq had like 30Lbs on Dwight at the same age.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Lol CubicleWorker, Have u even seen a game of the Magic last year? Q-Rich doesn’t play alot, Gil had like 3-4 games where he actually had a positive inpact, Vince is gone, JRich also hasn’t done anything special, the Magic’s perimeter D is trash..
    And AQ, u a fool.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    I think Shaq named those guys because he was giving credit to the guys who arent so obvisous numbskulls. who doesnt know ewing, hakeem, and robison and those other all-stars from the 90′s. He’s right though and that was my argument against dwight for mvp, he has no great competition. He should be puttting up better numbers because I promise oyou those great 90′ centers would be averaging in the thirties and grabbing about the same amount of rebounds.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    In that case he forgot, Shawn Bradley, Brad Miller, Vlade Divac, Mark West, Antonio & Dale Davis, Ben Wallace, and a host of other not so obvious Centers who were all in the same league skill wise as the 2 guys he decided to name after Alonzo Mourning (who would fall under the obvious section, but your ignoring him)

  • MLK4Life

    He is constantly asked about Dwight Howard. If he’s asked, he’s going to answer. He’s not just saying these things out of nowhere. And he’s right. Shaq played against David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Zo and all the other guys he mentioned. He went at them. Dwight doesn’t have anyone to go at. Is it his fault? No. All Shaq is saying is that he’s by far the best big man in the league without any real competition at his position. So he should win a few championships.

  • Double J

    Shaq is right! The center spot is the go-to position for offense. That’s why you put your biggest guy closest to the basket, so you can score! Free D12 from Disneyworld.

  • LA Huey

    Sure, Dwight is in a class by himself as a pivot in the NBA today. However, he can’t win rings without help. Especially when you consider, his teammates are defensive sieves and his position relies on others to get him the ball. The one time he got to the Finals, Boston was missing KG, Hedo was in a contract year, and he caught fire from the FT line (by his standards) in the ECF. He will only win a ring if: the stars align or he aligns with another superstar.

  • Matt Gill

    Love that the Duck gets a mention from Shaq!! What, no Oliver Miller or Olden Polynice???????

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    shaq is actually right tho… dwight has NOOOOO real real comp at the center postion.

  • respect

    shaqu in his rookie season is better then dwight rite now

  • Josh

    Great compliment to Shaq that everyone asks him about Howard. Gives Jordan a break from the Carter, Bryant, Wade, Lebron comparisons.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Javale McGee & Demarcus Cousins should (if they work hard) legitimately challenge Dwight for the best center in the league in a few years. Bynum & Oden if they could stay healthy would be pretty stiff competition too. Shaq should also realize that the rules of drastically changed since the 90′s, hell even since 2003. Shaq is right, I’m just sayin

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Shaq kinda has a point. The only other center that was a perennial All-Star post-Shaq was Yao Ming, and he’s retired. (And he dominated Dwight in their match-ups).
    Demarcus Cousins has a good chance. That’s it for now, though. Maybe if Kanter or Valanciunas pan out.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Andre Drummond could be the next great big. Isaiah Austin too if he gains weight.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Alonzo Mourning is better than Dwight Howard.
    More skilled.
    A better shooter.
    Has a better face up game.
    Would often put fear into the heart of an opponent.
    No one fears Dwight Howard.

  • Shifty

    um La Huey, Arvydas Sabonis is a HOF’er

  • Double J


  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    JAVALE MCGEE….? Really….? Will Challenge Dwight for best current centre during his career? h3ll no.
    obviously I need to bring out my current centre rankings for you all….okay coming up.

  • spamslots

    Shaq also had the benefit of getting way more calls his way than Howard does. It’s true that Shaq had better footwork (and certainly a vastly better offensive touch), but refs would also let him get away with simply powering down and backing up his man until they had to hack him or let him dunk. Now, they call an offensive on Howard for anything. It’s really a shame that Yao Ming’s body couldn’t hold up, because Shaq’s right and if Yao was still playing, his skill game could probably have gotten him up to 30 and 11 or so by now.

  • Jerome

    I saw Shaq (Cleveland) dunk on Howard four posessions in a row – in Orlando. Lebron laughed everytime. The ceners Shaq mentioned was another jab at D12, like he aint in the company of the better centers that weren’t mentioned. TWISM … haha.

  • Double J

    oh my god, did u guys not watch shaq play at all?!?! he was called for a foul when guards ran into him! so don’t tell me he got away with anything. jiminy peet sakes….

  • DukeFromDeep

    Andrew Bogut healthy is a top three centre ijn the NBA, no question!

  • DukeFromDeep

    Honestly.. I think Shaq is right. Howard is mediocre compared to 90s Centers,and would have been pushed around by the Admiral, Hakeem, Mourning, Ewing and most def Shaq in his prime.
    Again, what about Bogut?

  • jamesbond

    Zo stats averages for the fist 8 years in the league. 20.9pts, 10.1rbs, 2.7b. That’s 2o-10 for 8 years straight! Peoples, remember he had a kidney transplant. after that he was never the same again.Who could be? Zo was a star in his prime. Not just a Quality center. Its Sad that Yao will probably go into the hall Long before he’s consider.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    If Shaq came into the NBA a year earlier or later than the 92 season, ZO would have been the ROY that year…

  • http://slamonline.com Neitel

    Dwight howard aint no superman…he is the superman that jump with a cape and threw the ball down the cup, but, Shaq is the real superman! he broke backboards back then!!! Dwight howard has some competition, look at Greg Oden! oh wait…he dissapeared a while back..sorry kid…anyways, Dwight Howard should be a dominant 5 in the next couple of years, and he should win like 4 championships, at least…if he doesn’t…i will be sad too…wasted talent…maybe he should go to the Knicks!


    Shaq is kinda right though. Dwight Howard would be a PF if this were the 90′s, no way is he playing center against: Zo, Shaq, Robinson, Hakeem, Dikembe, Ewing etc etc they would have eaten him alive. Perkins, Bynum, Bogut, Chandler & Oden are the only real centers in the game anymore. Howard has little to no competition most nights and is putting up worse numbers than Shaq did against HoF centers. Howard called himself Superman, he brought this on a little, himself. I wish some team had been patient with Hasheem Thabeet, with a little time and effort he could have been an amazing center, at least defensively.

  • William

    Funny how shaq didn’t mention Dream who schooled him!

  • C-Mac

    @iCARNACki I agree with you here for sure but don’t forget guys like Brook Lopez, Nene, Joakim Noah, Chris Kaman and Marc Gasol. Obviously they aren’t true centers. With the competition he has Dwight should easily have a championship or MVP by now and probably would if he had better post moves. If Shaq, Hakeem, Ewing or Robinson were playing in the NBA in their primes now, they would rule the league.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    @Shifty, Sabonis’ HOFer induction have nothing to do with his play in the NBA. The Sabonis Shaq played against was washed up.