Shaquille O'Neal was there. To be honest, O'Neal was statistically even more dominant than Jordan was in the late 1990s. Shaq's 1999-2000 season is among the finest in NBA history, averaging 29.7 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 3.0 blocks per game. MVP of the regular season, All-Star Game, and NBA Finals. It's safe to say that nobody has ever played this kind of basketball before or since.
However, we can't forget about Michael Jordan. The 1998-99 season was by far MJ's best, as he averaged 31.4 points, 7.1 assists, and 6.3 rebounds per game. He also set a new career high with 12 steals per game during that season.
So basically, it's a tie. They were both great players who changed the way the league plays today. However, if we had to pick one over the other, we'd probably go with Jordan because he had more success with the Bulls while Shaq played on the Lakers.
Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal has four NBA championships. During his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers, he also earned three consecutive NBA Finals MVP awards. Shaq was a towering athlete and one of the NBA's most dominant players. He changed the game by inventing his own style of play that focused on power dunks, hooks, and slams.
He first won a championship as a member of the Miami Heat in 2006. The following year, he helped lead the Lakers to their third title in four years. In 2009, Shaq again won his second ring with the Heat. Last but not least, in 2010, he brought home his fourth trophy with the Lakers.
During his time in Miami, Shaq was involved in several controversies, including accusations of racism and allegations of sexual harassment. He eventually filed lawsuits against both the city of Miami and its mayor at the time, Manny Diaz. He settled out of court and moved on from the Heat franchise.
After leaving Miami, Shaq signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. However, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns before the start of the 2011-12 season. Later that year, he joined the Chinese teamGuangdong Southern Tigers. There he played until 2013 when he retired from professional basketball due to knee problems.
Shaq's career playoff record is 10-6.
Jordan was named NBA MVP five times, and many feel he could have won even more. Jordan is the greatest scorer the NBA has ever seen by any measure. He set a record with ten scoring championships and a career average of 30.1 points per game, the highest in NBA history. Additionally, he is second only to Karl Malone in all-time playoff games played (271). However, he does not rank high when it comes to overall impact; this can be attributed to the fact that he played during an era where height differentials were much higher than they are now. In other words, although he was amazing, he was not as amazing as you might think given his stature.
It's hard to say that anyone was better than Jordan, but if we had to pick one player as the greatest of all time, it would be hard to look beyond him.
Malone was the best player in the NBA in 1979, but it wasn't until 1981 that he made his first finals appearance, with the House Rockets. He's won three MVPs in a row. James received his first MVP title the same year that the Cleveland Cavaliers lead the major categories, including points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. James is still going strong after 21 seasons in the league.
Larry Bird was the best player on one of the most successful teams in NBA history, but he never won an MVP award. Michael Jordan is the only other player who has ever led his team to the playoffs every season he's been in the league. Jordan has won six MVP awards over the years, more than anyone else.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the best player in the NBA for several years in a row, from 1970 to 1986. He's still the career leader in rebounds per game (15.6). Wilt Chamberlain holds almost every scoring record there is to score at one time or another. He led the NBA in scoring seven times, finished second five times, and third once. He also led the league in rebounding seven times, finishing second four times and third once.
Hakeem Olajuwon was the best player in the NBA during the 1990s, when he dominated both offensively and defensively. He's still considered one of the greatest centers of all time.
Yao Ming, one of the few individuals in the world who can look down on Shaq, didn't win the statistical war, but the Rockets' youngster did, and his team won the battle. O'Neal ended with 31 points and 13 rebounds after a shaky start. "I felt bad for him," said Yao after the game. "He was trying to help me out, but I don't need any help."
In fact, it was more of a duel than a battle as both men took turns hitting shots and making mistakes that led to easy baskets for their opponents. At times, it looked like they were going to end up with equal statistics but then something would happen and it would be Shaq with the advantage -- usually due to the fact that he was getting most of his attempts while Yao was looking on. In the end, however, it was Yao who came out on top thanks to his accurate shooting (54 percent from the field, 80 percent from the free-throw line) and effective defense. He also got some valuable experience that will help him as his career moves forward.
Shaq had some good moments but he also made some costly mistakes, most notably by throwing away his chance at history when he passed up an opportunity to become only the second player in NBA history to score 100 points before reaching age 30.