How could one person compare Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez to Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard? Or, how could one person think that Lopez is better than Howard given the track records of both players? Well, there is one person that actually thinks Lopez is better than Howard, and that is former Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal.
According to ESPN, Shaq told his fellow analysts:
“We as players, we always watch people before us. When I came in it was Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon, guys who played like true centers who played inside. What we have now are centers that are going to the European style, which is a lot of pick-and-roll. Dwight Howard, who’s a pick-and-roll player, some people say he’s the best center in the league, but me being an old-school center, I’m going to go with Robin Lopez and Andrew Bynum because they play with their back to the basket.”
Shaq then clarified that he meant Brook and not Robin.
He then continued saying:
“Listen to what I’m saying. I’m not talking about dunking, I’m talking about playing like a big man with the moves. My man, before he had the foot injury, was putting up nice, solid big man numbers. He don’t have a lot of flash, a la Tim Duncan, but he can play. If you put him with a nice team around him, you can get a lot from this big man. Like if you want to go to go to flash and dunking and the pick and roll, you gotta go with Dwight Howard. But me, the last true original dundaughta (slang for big timer), I’m going with Andrew Bynum and which Lopez? Brook. Brook Lopez.”
Now it is hard to argue against Shaq. However, Lopez did not play a full season last year and neither did Howard, but D-12 still played more games than Lopez. Howard has also appeared in more playoff games than Lopez and was the face of the Orlando Magic franchise since he was drafted there in 2004. Lopez is not better than Howard.
Numbers don’t lie either. Five straight seasons with 19+ points per game and averaging a double-double since ’04. Lopez has not made a playoff appearance and is not the face of the franchise nor could he handle that kind of role. Howard is the man in Los Angeles and even with sharing the spotlight with Kobe Bryant, Howard will still be better than Lopez in the long-run.
What is Shaq smoking?
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