Yet another one of those “did you know” posts from a popular basketball blog featuring (of course!) our man Shaq. Tip ‘o the hat to our friends at FadeawayWorld.com for an interesting post and ranking that says Shaq (in FadeawayWorld’s opinion) “Has Had The Best Teammates Of Any Star In NBA History.” Curious who that might be? So where we…
No single player wins Championships. Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen (and others) and the same can be said of any great player and team. The interesting thing is to check out the winning teams Shaq played on through the years, and the roster(s) of other greats that he had the opportunity to play with.
As for Shaq himself, there’s no doubt he was one of the most dominant players in the game…ever. Three straight NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, and then one more (the very next season) with the Miami Heat.
He’s been called the most dominant ever, but he was not just a powerful big man. He was a good ball handler and passer (with hands that big, of course he was!) and was certainly one of the best centers the game has ever seen. Still, Shaq had many, many great players around him through the years. Here’s a quick rundown of some (but not all) of the superstars that Shaq called teammates, and the teams they played on…
The first three from the FadeawayWorld list are the biggest of superstars:
Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
Best Shaq teammate ever? FadeawayWorld says so. They had those three NBA Championship titles, and maybe could have had more if they’d stayed together. Kobe’s ability to score in the clutch balanced Shaq’s ability to dominate the game at both ends of the court.
Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat
Wade was the guy who helped Shaq win his fourth ring. By the time he got to Miami, O’Neal was a bit older and slower, not quite so dominant, he was still a very imposing force who averaged 20-10 as the second option. FadeawayWorld calls Wade’s Finals performance in 2006 “one of the greatest we have ever seen.”
LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers
Wow… how many NBA all-time lists does LeBron appear on … this far down??! Sure, James was definitely just getting his NBA feet wet when Shaq was playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron took those Cavs to top playoff seed status almost every year, and Shaq was there for a bit of it. In the end however, the Cavs with Shaq didn’t have enough additional horsepower to make a deep playoff run.
Some of the other huge names that played with Shaq:
- Karl Malone: Was with the Lakers in the 2004 season.
- Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns. Shaq “played young” with the Suns that season, even winning a All-Star award during his time in the Valley of the Sun.
- Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics. It was a shot for Shaq to try for a fifth ring, but both he and Garnett were getting old, and Shaq had some injury issues. Also in Boston, Shaq also suited up with Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen.
- Penny Hardaway and the Orlando Magic. Set the WayBack Machine for this one! A couple of young superstars, the Magic had greatness on board, but those pesky Houston Rockets (and Olajuwon) were simply unstoppable.