shaq vs howard-hoopsworld.com
As the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic squared off on Thursday night, many saw the game as a battle for Eastern Conference supremacy. Overshadowed was the matchup in the paint between centers Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal. That is, until after the game.
The Cavaliers got the 115-106 win and while Howard posted better numbers – 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks to O'Neal's 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 block – it's how Shaq was guarded that got the big man ranting. Orlando sent a second defender at O'Neal for much of the night and he wanted to make sure everyone noticed.
"Superman my ass," said O'Neal. "When I was coming up and there was Pat Ewing and Hakeem [Olajuwon], I never doubled anybody. You tell me who the real Superman is. Don't compare me to nobody. I'd rather not be mentioned. I'm offended. You're all giving away titles, it's crazy.
"I don't consider it manning up until you play me straight up. Don't let them double-team me and make it a him vs. me thing. Eighteen years straight -- Hakeem, Ewing, Rik Smits, [Tim] Duncan, [David] Robinson, the best of the best, straight up. I never doubled nobody. Nor have I ever asked for double-team. If you want to bang and push, let's bang and push."
This comes after a Wednesday practice in which O'Neal "mumbled something about 15-year-olds or 18-year-olds" when asked about being excited to matchup against Howard.
We've seen Shaq make negative comments through the media for awhile now and Howard has yet to retaliate. Mainly, Dwight is surprised by O'Neal's attacks because other great big men have offered to help him rather than see him as a threat to their legacy. Former greats like Magic assistant coach Pat Ewing along with Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo, Bill Russell, and David Robinson have given Howard pointers and tips as he tries to improve his game.
While Howard never tried to steal Dikembe's finger wag like he did the Superman nickname, it's still hard to side with Shaq on this one. Rather than pass the torch, his ego has him squeezing it harder than ever until his knuckles turn white.
O'Neal has gone after young big men in the past, from Chris Bosh to Yao Ming, but none have ever jawed back at the Big Diesel. While Howard has remained quiet for this long, it'll be interesting to see if he bites when asked about this latest bait.
Shaq > Howard
I heard the rant and think Shaq sees that he isn't the dominating big man he once was. Yeah Howard is literally following in Shaq's foot steps but I do think that Howard is gonna be a beast for a longer time than Shaq is. This thought is due to Howard coming into the league at a younger age and I don't see him getting out of shape when he gets older (could be wrong on that) It shows maturity that Howard didn't respond back yet. I'm use to Shaq running his mouth but it's usually in a joking manner this one seemed personal.
yeah i agree with some of that dark man and although howard is good and will be very very good at the same age shaq would destroy him. hes not as dominate as shaq was in there prime. i dont even think its real close to be honest. he might be a beast for a longer time but im not so sure if he never gets those post moves. i think shaq is bitter that hes getting up there in age and people are calling howard another superman when he wasnt as good as shaq at the same stage which i can understand. i think howard should be the man of steel instead if shaq in his prime was considered super man
shaq had more time to develope when he came into the league. He did the college thing whereas Howard came straight into outta high school. So hands down Shaq would kill Howard at this same point in their basketball career. I just hope Howard doesn't try rapping or making bad movies. Kazzam 2 anyone?
i'm not a shaq fan and him taking shots at howard does not surprise me. But just keeping it real, i don't see dwight ever being as good as shaq was . As for the double teaming, i think one reason the magic did that was because they were trying to bait the cavs into running their offense through hickson and verajao, so they had lewis leave them alone. Of course, that backfired, but i thought it was more of a strategy to get the cavs out of their offense then just because dwight needed help.
yeah he had more time to develop but shaqs second year was better then any year howard has had and its not even a arguement...29 13reb 2 blks...hell his rookie year compares to howards best year