Shaquille O’Neal weighed in on the G.O.A.T debate and what heft he lent his words.
The former Laker said he preferred Michael “Air” Jordan to LeBron James when asked who would win a hypothetical one-on-one match-up.
His all-time favourite , however, was Dr. J aka Julius Erving.
“Mike. I think you have to go with a young Jordan every time.
It would be an interesting game. Young LeBron was more like (Lakers Hall of Famer) Magic Johnson. He was sort of like Magic with Jordan’s abilities. He liked to pass, and he liked to get it up.
But Mike was Mike. He was just special, like no one else. He always did things no one else could do, and things you couldn’t compare to anyone else. So he was special, and he’d win.”
“I’ve seen young Mike and young LeBron and I must say Dr. J is still my favourite player. A lot of people today don’t even mention his name but to me I still think he was the best. But these are questions that we’ll never know the answer to.”
And things got really interesting from thereon.
The big man went on to describe the comparison with a kung fu analogy.
“It’s a bit like if I met Bruce Lee in an alleyway. Who would win? You’ll never know. Some people say well Bruce would kick Shaq’s ass. Some people say well Shaq is two times bigger than Bruce Lee. It’s a good question, a good conversation. But we’ll never know.”
Way to go, champ.
It appears that all the training Shaq underwent with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Nate Diaz has taught the hoopster some respect for jiu-jitsu and it’s Eastern variants.
What next? If his fellow players take up the sport, we can expect kung fu basketball pretty soon. Wouldn’t that be something?
Kung Fu Shaq, anybody?
There have been a couple of tall tales in the Indian media recently.
Two of our very own boys have been selected to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) league.
Their names: Sim Bhullar and Satnam Singh Bhamara.
One’s Canadian and the other’s from our very own Ludhiana.
Both seven footers. Giants, indeed.
Bhullar plays for Sacramento Kings.
Sacramento? Isn’t that California’s forgotten seat of governance much like Canberra is Australia’s?
Or is that Sacrament-O?
And Dallas Mavericks?
Whoever’s heard of them?
Chirp ‘Dallas‘ and all I can recall is that American soap opera telecast on Star World.
And a maverick? Isn’t that an unbranded calf or yearling? Or isn’t that Mel Gibson portraying the title role in ‘Maverick’?
How Mad Maxingly confounding!
An ABCD (American-Born Confused Desi) tells me that it’s not as perplexing as the NBA draft. I’m told they have a weighted-lottery system that favors the bottomed out—quite unlike the ‘simple‘ auctions at our Modi(l) IPL.
Sim signs on for a week or so and Satnam may never play. Yet, there’s a hoopla here like never before.
There are whispers that it’s all a marketing gimmick to target the extremely long, extremely fat tail that is the Indian market for American basketball.
Whoosh! In goes another three-pointer!
It’s said the two Singh’s can do a Yao Ming for the NBA in the sub-continent.
You’d imagine that two billion plus Indians and Chinese the majority of whom barely top the five-and-a-half foot mark would find it hard to identify with a trio of seven-foot-plus and 20-plus-shod behemoths who themselves belong to a minuscule minority not just in their nations but all across the globe.
Sporting goods marketers expect otherwise.