Lakers News: Shaq Says He And Mikan Are Lakers Greatest Centers

Lakers News: Shaq Says He And Mikan Are Lakers Greatest Centers


The Los Angeles Lakers have had some of the best centers to ever play the game of basketball.

Shaquille O’Neal is just one of many great Laker big men, but it looks like O’Neal is not to fond of other great Laker centers.

O’Neal went on twitter and posted a picture on who he believed were the two best Laker centers ever.

O’Neal purposely blocks off Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s face with his enormous hand and only O’Neal and George Mikan are visible in the picture.

According to Arash Markazi from ESPN LA, O’Neal did not have much of a relationship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Wilt Chamberlain.

O’Neal seems to be a bit bitter from his time with the Lakers, and it looks like George Mikan was the only one that embraced the diesel. Not only did they have a great relationship, but O’Neal honored Mikan by paying for his funeral cost when the he passed in 2005.

Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most dominating forces to have ever played this game, but big guys have feelings too, and it looks like O’Neal feelings were hurt by Abdul-Jabbar and Chamberlain.


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  • Jim213

    The most dominant center being (hulk mass) ever… yes, but their style of play and overall dominance on the court is what needs to be factored into this argument.

  • ra

    umm… Wilt Chamberlain? (the greatest basketball player, ever). Don’t forget Kareem.

    • Daryl Peek

      People forget the kind of numbers Kareem put up early on in his career. He averaged like 30pts, 16reb, 5 assist, probably 4-5 blocks and 1.5 – 2 steals a game. Remember they didn’t start keeping blocked shots and steals as stats til his 5th season. Wilt was a freak of nature like Shaq but Kareem was the only center to play against almost every great center in the great big men era’s.

      Russell retired Kareem’s rookie season so the Captain didn’t get to play him. Wilt is one of three players to ever block the sky hook if I’m correct. Wilt is on record saying Kareem is the only center he played against, that he needed help against. Kareem was dunking all over Wilt in the early 70’s! Let that marinate for a second… KAJ was also handling biz in the late 80’s anchoring Showtime?!?

      KAJ played against early 70’s greats the likes of Gilmore. Lanier, Unseld, Sikma and Wilt (still with plenty in the tank) to young bucks like Hakeem, Ewing, Parrish, Laimbeer and Tree Rollins. During the peak of Showtime Kareem was the defensive anchor up against HOF 7′ PF & C twin tower Duo’s… Celtics, Rockets, Hawks, Sixers, Clippers, Trailblazers and Pistons. Showtime never had twin towers yet KAJ was battling them and winning in the height of that era which was from about 81-92.

      Couple all of this with the greatest collegiate basketball career in NCAA history and the most hyped HS prospect ever! Kareem is also the only NBA player to ever take on one of his (50 greatest players in NBA history) contemporaries in a one on one game, televised on national TV. KAJ destroyed Dr. J in that game!

      I contend KAJ is the G.O.A.T.

      • ra

        Saw Wilt & Kareem battle it out in the early 70s, and let me tell you, there was ‘nothing’ like it, before and since. Wilt was in his declining years at the time, but seeing 2 giants and extremely talented players like that play.

        It was like Godzilla vs. Rodan. It was unreal. The skyhook was almost tailor made for Wilt. Kareem had to post it up even higher for him. So, anyone who was not Wilt – forget it, not a chance to stop that shot.

        And, at the time (before Kareem was a Laker), those of us here in Lakerland did ‘not’ like Kareem. He was a nemesis to Wilt, who was a Laker at the time. Kareem was the young upstart. How dare he challenge Wilt.

        BUT … after Wilt retired, and Kareem came to LA, it was completely the opposite. We welcomed Kareem. It was an honor, and we were lucky to have him for all those years.

        One final – Wilt ‘in his prime’ (early 60s) could take on Kareem ‘in his prime’ (early 70s), easily.

        • Daryl Peek

          Epic battles between Kareem and Wilt! Clash of the titans for sure. I kinda disagree on Wilt taking Kareem in the time index theme. I tend to lean on the Russell philosophy about chasing Ghosts. The good thing is we have actual video footage of Wilt and Kareem battling it out.

          Wilt was on the tail end of his career by the time he was a Laker (in 69) battling Kareem but keep in mind he was only in his 10th season and was still averaging 20+ points, almost 20 rebounds and 5 assist a game.

          I remember hearing Wilt say once he finally won that first championship in Philly, and then joined the Lakers, he became more of a team player. Playing along side of Baylor and West it was only natural his scoring would decrease. Couple that with the other life influences Hollywood offered the big Dipper. His motivation was different given his main arch nemesis had retired.

          I think Wilt could have played another 5-6 years and still been dominant if he wanted. His final NBA season Wilt averaged almost 19 boards a game?!? That’s insane!

        • Daryl Peek

          My goodness! I’m looking at some of the mind boggling number Wilt put up! His last two seasons in Philly, he was very close to averaging a triple double those two years. I would have loved to see the number of steals and blocked shots he was averaging.

  • ra

    BTW, Most Dominant not = Greatest (if you’re just taking weight into account). Wilt Chamberlain could dunk from free throw (among other things). The very game of basketball (rules) were changed because of Wilt. I can easily shore up other stats about Wilt too (most 50 point games, etc.). You say, ‘championships’? Well, Wilt should have had more. It does take a team.

    But as far as pure talent, athleticism, defense, offense, scoring (100 points, anyone?), nobody BUT NOBODY beats Wilt. Not even MJ. And that’s just ‘basketball player’. Not even talking about ‘center’ or ‘Laker’.

    People forget the great players, like Pistol Pete, Wilt, Dr. J., who not only pioneered things in basketball, but could do things that today’s players can only dream about (or, aspire to). BTW, Kobe can do those types of things. and we’re talking 81 points there.

    • Jim213

      I brought this up a few weeks back with regards to All Time Lakers. Shaq most dominant Laker is correct given his massive hulkness aside of today’s game but this is not taking anything away from how the game was played back in the day as the game keeps evolving though Wilt was as big as Shaq and started in Conan the Barbarian.

      It’d have been interesting to observe Shaq vs Wilt given that the NBA was played more aggressively back in the day though Shaq would’ve seriously done some damage. But with regards to overall play the forum is open… though for speculation there’s always NBA 2k13 or 2k12?

      But here’s my All Time 6 Lakers, Magic/Kobe Tie#1, J West, K Jabbar, Wilt, and Shaq, had to throw in Diesel but argue that!?… These Center’s also had success with other teams but that doesn’t take anything away from them being top 3. It just so happens the All Time 3 Lakers were acquired at draft time and remained Lakers (+KB24).

      • ra

        OK, agree with this list. Wilt was not with the Lakers long enough to be on top of the all time Lakers list. Probably have to put Mikan on this list. Thanks for putting Kobe at #1 (tie). Let’s see how the next few years play out, and then I’d like to bid that he will be tied with Wilt and maybe MJ as greatest ever (#1).

        Really sorry about Shaq. He even admitted at one time, that had he played a little harder some of those years, he would have had more championships or even a more dominant career. He was truly amazing, and if he had been able to stay with the Lakers & Kobe, we’d have 2-3 more rings.

        • Jim213

          It’s not that they weren’t Lakers since the start, it’s just that Magic/Kobe and West contributed more to the overall success of the franchise which credit is in part to their overall careers as Lakers. If not for West and his contributions I don’t know if the Lakers would be the team of today given that he and ex. Baylor/Wilt and aside of other contributors helped to establish what we come to expect today being competitive play.

          Magic/Kareem/Worthy/B Scott/M Cooper/K Rambis and the list goes on helped to bring Showtime to LA raising thus BRAND to another level. While Kobe/Shaq helped to raise the bar even higher as KB24 holds the torch today.

          But aside of these players more need to be given credit for keeping the BRAND competitive throughout the decades. Aside of the retired jerseys there’s enough talent in the Laker pool to come up with two full roster teams (2×13) to compete head to head against each other and any other team.

    • Carlos

      When you are talking about real greats,please don’t forget Jerry West.Only Michael Jordan has a greater carrer scoring average than West in the playoffs.West scored 63 points,which was a recprd for a guardin the regular season for the longest time.He and Michael Jordan are still the only two guards in the history of basketball to lead the league in scoring and make the first team on defense.There is more.

      • Jim213

        Ain’t forgetting J West (Laker Man), nobody has done more for the franchise than West. Since being drafted with the Minneapolis Lakers in 1960, West played a crucial part in establishing the franchise in LA. J West helped the Lakers make 9 NBA Final appearances and is the only player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP as a member of the losing team (1969).

        J West did obtain a championship (1972) but nobody has done more for the franchise, player/coach/GM. Although, being credited for 7 championships I’d also throw in the last five given (Kobe/Shaq) franchise acquisitions = 12 rings. This is not mentioning what he’s done for the league too and though he’s currently a consultant with the GSW have to wish him the best.

  • Eddie Lazaro

    Different era, different games, different rules. Shaq was in full throttle when he was in Orlando, but his athletic ability was not enough as his game was not fully developed. Even when he first joined the Lakers, he did not made an impact at Del Harris (no) system because Kobe was tied to the bench. Phil Joined in and give him and Kobe some minutes together. That’s when Shaq’s physical ability took off. When playing together with great chemistry, they are are most dominant 1-2 combo ever.

    During Wilt’s era, there are only few teams and games are played not as intensified or as physical as it is now or 90’s. Dominance of Wilt will stay in the record books for his scores, rebounds and passing for a big man in which is dominating during that time. Very few big man like him has the athletic ability he does, also, having fewer teams and no back to back games just cemented it on matter.

    • ra

      Very poor travel conditions, no sports medicine back then, conditions were not as good for players back then as they are now.

      Today, ACL injuries can be fixed (they were career ending), players can play longer (again, sports medicine, team physical therapists, etc.). Team planes, catered meals, training facilities, etc. are here today. And also back then, you could ‘knock down’ players, and it wasn’t a foul. (heck, you could do that in the 80s – remember Kurt Rambis / Kevin McHale?). The Celtics were ‘always’ a rough and tough team. And the Lakers habitually played with finesse.

      The game was a LOT rougher back then (heck, even in the 90s, it was rougher). Games were more physical back then, not less. Today, you barely ‘touch’ a player and it’s a foul. And the Malice in the Palace would never had led to suspensions, or anything like that in the 60s.

      The game is a ‘lot easier’ and nicer today, than it ever was. Someone like Tony Parker (back then) would be habitually knocked down, without a foul. LeBron would be knocked down every other play, no fouls – no flagrant – no suspensions …. nothing.

      Bigs (even today) get banged up pretty badly. Dwight Howard gets pummeled, and it was even worse back then. Bigs were always hard to defend – so smaller players would hit them or bump into them very hard. Same with Wilt, Kareem, and Bill Walton. No fouls.

      The game was much more physical back then, recovery from injury wasn’t as common (Kobe’s injury would have ended his career back then). Basketball was more of a job back then, and less fun than it is today.

  • tequilaman

    Kareem and Wilt didnt reach out to HIM? How pompous is that?! I think the question should have read Shaq didnt reach out to them…Respect your elders in the game of sports Shaq, more childish and LAME behavior from someone who I THOUGHT had FINALLY gotten over his own ego….Guess I wont be trying your new 16oz sodas with your dumbass enlarged clownface all over it at the 7-11….

  • 3339

    Shaq was so dominant. there would be 3 defenders around him and he would still throw it down but I put Shaq, Kareem, WIlt, and Mikan all in the same category. They were all dominant big men in their own way and delivered championships to the Lakers. The only thing that imo makes Kareem distant from the rest is winning rings over the celtics.

  • Cress Clay

    hey shaq was a laker great, I dont’ want to debate who was greater as a center because in the end it all goes into laker lore and the most important thing is he was, is and will always be a laker great I think if I remember correctly he averaged 27 points a game
    it is sad that kareem and wilt didn’t reach out to him but maybe that’s because he was
    a force of nature that didnt’ need there coaching so they didn’t feel the need to reach out he was a threat to their legacies as laker lore also just an opinion I saw all of them play
    at games and am proud to say that I am a laker 4 life goooo lakers love live our dynasty

  • Islesteelr

    I ain’t got a dog in this fight… I think Shaq, Wilt , and Kareem could dominate in ANY era! Even Today! Mikan would probably be a PF in most eras . But you gotta give the man Props….