Friday, October 5, 2012

Shaq vs Howard: Superman vs Superman?

Battle of the Capes?
Comic book lore has it that the invincible Superman had only one weakness: Kryptonite.

Lo and behold, the NBA has discovered yet another Superman weakness: his alter-ego from a not so distant past.

The movie Deliverance gave us battling banjos; and now two mammoth 7 foot something NBA giants -- Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard -- have become the battling Supermen.

Quick facts 

Shaq and Howard both started their careers with the Orlando Magic.
Both men became dissatisfied with the Magic management and the Orlando small market.
Both centers left the Sunshine state for Hollywood.
Additionally, both Supermen joined Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in quests to win a NBA Championship.                                                                                                                                            

The Drama

Here's what O'Neal had to say when asked his opinion on who is the best big man in the NBA during a roundtable discussion with fellow TNT analysts posted on last week: 

"We as players, we always watch people before us. When I came in it was Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon, guys who played like true centers who played inside. What we have now are centers that are going to the European style, which is a lot of pick-and-roll. Dwight Howard, who's a pick-and-roll player, some people say he's the best center in the league, but me being an old-school center, I'm going to go with Robin Lopez
 and Andrew Bynum because they play with their back to the basket." source

And anyone with an ounce of NBA basketball IQ knows, you don't call a brother an European style player: it may not be PC, but this is code for soft.

The Retort

“I don't care what Shaq says," Howard said recently, although he clearly does. "Shaq played the game and he is done. It's time to move on. He hated the fact when he played that older guys were talking about him and how he played. Now he's doing the exact same thing. Just let it go. There's no sense for him to be talking trash to me. He did his thing in the league. Sit back and relax. Your time is up." source

I can vividly recall the LA Lakers'  As The World Turns drama of Kobe Vs Shaq. Almost to a person, Laker fans, NBA fans, the Press and TV analysts saw Kobe as the bad guy. But after reading Shaq's tell all book, Shaq Uncut: My Story (he throws almost every coach, teammate and organization he played with under the bus), watching him diss younger players -- he called Chris Bosh the Rupaul of big men in the NBA -- and this last unnecessary drama or jealousy tantrum against Howard, one has to seriously reconsider who was the true villain behind the Kobe/Shaq feud.

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