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Kendrick Perkins shreds Shaq for bizarre comparison for Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic

Kendrick Perkins, Shaq, Nuggets, Nikola Jokic

Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal previously likened the game of Denver Nuggets to former Indiana Pacers great Rik Smits. Kendrick Perkins saw the remark from the 4-time NBA champion and could not believe those words came from O’Neal’s mouth.

Shaq made the comparison back in the 2018-19 season during a Nuggets game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Smits’ former Pacers teammate Reggie Miller was on the broadcast when he asked O’Neal which player he encountered back in the day reminded him of The Joker. The Inside the NBA analyst immediately thought of the 7-foot-4 Dutchman, whom he faced in multiple postseason battles throughout the 1990s.

Much like Perkins’ reaction, most people would probably scoff at this comparison and crucify O’Neal for this pretty unpopular take. Nevertheless, Shaq gave Smits his props and said he was “a beast” before suffering through foot problems later in his career.

Many kids today aren’t familiar or probably don’t even know who Rik Smits is. The Dunking Dutchman had a solid career in the NBA that spanned 12 seasons. He served as the starting center for the Pacers for nearly his entire career and posted career averages of 14.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. Those numbers are a far cry from Jokic’s mind-boggling stats, as the Nuggets superstar is averaging a near triple-double with 27.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 8.4 assists.

Nevertheless, much like The Joker, Smits possessed a pretty sweet shooting stroke and had crafty footwork as well on the post. Perhaps this is where O’Neal sees the similarity between Smits and Jokic.

However, Smits never had Jokic’s elite passing skills and was never a tenacious rebounder, unlike the Serbian. Nikola Jokic is perhaps already the best passing big man in the history of the NBA and arguably the most unique player in the league today.