Shaquille O’Neal offers up a unique all-time starting 5
Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal might have had a change of heart with regards to his all-time starting five.
Three years ago, the players he selected to be included in his own version of basketball’s best possible quintet were Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Karl Malone, and Bill Russell. However, he was asked again during an interview for NBC’s Today, and his version looked a lot different from the one he gave out back in 2015.
Jordan and Malone are still there, but Magic, Dr. J, and Russell were replaced by Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, and Hakeem Olajuwon. When asked as to why he left himself out of his own all-time starting five, O’Neal expressed humility.
“I’m not First Team,” he insisted. “Not at all.”
Funny, considering the fact that many people would include O’Neal in their all-time starters.
Now, if you’ve noticed, Shaq’s most recent version no longer has a traditional point guard. Instead, he decided to put two of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history together in Jordan and Bryant. He also decided to put more emphasis on offense by supplanting Russell with Olajuwon and Erving with Bird. It’s unclear what made Shaq change his mind regarding this matter, but his list is still pretty impressive.
But aside from excluding himself from his dream team, Shaq continues to leave a few notable names out of it as well. San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James didn’t make it to O’Neal’s all-time starters, despite the fact that they’re the greatest players in the history of the league at their respective positions.
Then again, this matter will always be subjective.