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Shaquille O’Neal questions why the G.O.A.T. has to be a guard

LeBron James recently aired his thoughts to the rest of the world, noting he considers himself the greatest of all time after beating the 73-win Golden State Warriors in 2016 and giving the Cleveland Cavaliers their first NBA title. While that was meant with plenty of backlash, Shaquille O’Neal has an axe to grind with how centers are often dismissed in GOAT conversations.

While many have established it is a two-horse race for the title of best of all time, supposedly between James and Michael Jordan, Shaq argued some of the most dominant players to ever play did it without flashy moves or athletic finishes.

“Why does the GOAT always have to be a guard?” Shaquille O’Neal wondered, according to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. “A lot of people can’t answer that question.”

For a 7-foot-1 juggernaut, Shaq had to compete for adoration with others like Penny Hardaway and Kobe Bryant (both in his own team, respectively), Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson.

Wilt Chamberlain, perhaps the singlemost dominant player in NBA history and owner of many unbreakable records, once famously proclaimed, “No one loves Goliath.”

“There’s bias,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said, chuckling. “We deal with it all the time.”

The NBA has no shortage of great big men in Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Yet they have been largely overshadowed by flashier players like James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

The question is still there to answer — why are the big man getting the short end of the stick here?

Feel free to tell us in the comments.