The dinosaur center that didn’t know how to go back, power up!
- on Jun 05, 2023
‘Simple but powerful player!’ This is an evaluation of Shaquille O’Neal (51‧216cm‧147kg), the “Dinosaur Center” at the time of his heyday when he commanded the NBA court. In Xinjiang’s sports basketball, being tall is always advantageous. However, he does not work simply because he is tall on the world’s best stage, such as the NBA. The minimum basic skills are natural, and in addition to that, a solid physique is essential.
This is because the most effective way for the side pushed by the height to defend the tall man is a physical fight. No matter how tall you are, if you are pushed out of a physical fight, it will be difficult to maintain a normal balance and you will not be able to fully demonstrate the advantage of your height. In fact, there have been quite a number of players who have not been able to properly measure their height (?) despite their enormous height.
Being tall is a huge advantage, but it is because the mobility and power that would maximize the advantage were not supported. At least one of the two must be properly possessed in order to be reborn as a big man with a strong presence. If flexibility and fingertip sensation are added, the icing on the cake. O’Neill, along with ‘ancient monster’ Wilt Chamberlain, is regarded as the king of such players.
There aren’t many players as tall as O’Neill, but there are a few. However, it is very rare to find a case that combines that height with muscular, solid and thick hardware. He was the owner of tremendous power befitting his physical condition, so he often had an advantage against similarly tall people. He has good strength, but uses his height advantage to deal with players smaller than himself, and beats tall players who are skinny through physical fights.
Although the range of activities was not wide, the sense of intimidation felt by the opposing team was quite great just by the fact that O’Neill was holding out near the post. It was because he had no choice but to give up and go in the match of strength under the goal. In order to deal with one O’Neill, two or three players had to stick together throughout the game, and depending on the situation, there were cases where the existing strategy had to be completely changed.
Compared to his contemporaries in the big four centers, O’Neill’s offensive options were simple. ‘Nigerian Black Panther’ Hakeem Olajuwon, ‘Admiral of the Navy’ David Robinson, and ‘Jamaican King Kong’ Patrick Ewing are good in size, but all boast long shooting distances and various offensive options. Robinson was praised for his face-up with the speed of a guard, and Olajuwon’s various steps and flamboyant movements near the post drew the tongues of not only the center but also other players at other positions.
Compared to that, O’Neill’s attack pattern was very simple. In the mid-range, there was no shooting option itself, which was difficult to expect, and the shooting distance was extremely short. In a word, he was a player with limited scoring routes near the bottom. Nevertheless, O’Neill’s offensive power was considered the best at the time, and it is not unreasonable to evaluate it as an all-time high. He could have been a ‘half player’, but this is a case where he covered his weaknesses with his extreme strengths.
O’Neill’s enormous size and physical abilities were innate since childhood. He grew up in the hands of his adoptive father who was a soldier from childhood, while his father, who was a criminal, gave up parental rights. Due to the nature of his job as a soldier, he moved frequently and even lived in a foreign country for several years. That was when he was in Germany. He played a basketball match with soldiers, and nobody beat O’Neill at the time.
Just because he was nearly 2m tall and had good motor nerves, he was not at a level that soldiers who played basketball could not match. From the height and physical struggle, raindrops fell like autumn leaves. There is also an anecdote that a soldier who was surprised when O’Neill did so well asked, “What rank are you?”
For two years in high school, he led his team’s ridiculous performance (68 wins and 1 loss) to the state championship, and even after going to Louisiana State University, he was selected as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year for two consecutive years (1991-92) He earned a reputation as one of the best prospects, including being named one of the All-Americans.
His first overall pick in the draft was a natural result. And from the first year, he received the Rookie of the Year award and announced the appearance of the monster, and has won 4 finals championships (including 3 consecutive losses), Finals MVP for 3 consecutive years, MVP of the regular season, 8th First Team, 15th All-Star, 3x All-Star MVP, and 2x Scoring Champion. He left behind a bold career and left his name as a legend.
In fact, the results of the award feel insignificant compared to O’Neill’s monster force in its heyday. In particular, the LA Lakers, who led the team to three consecutive championships with three Finals MVPs, were literally the league’s rulers. At the time, O’Neill had a weight of over 140 kg through weight gain, but despite this, his body fat percentage was said to be less than 10%.
Even with such a huge body, he was not slow, and in addition to his flexibility and athleticism, his BQ was also quite high. In addition, his stamina was also good enough to digest more than 35 minutes of each game. Above all, it is evaluated that O’Neal had no choice but to become a great player in that he knew exactly what his strengths were and knew how to use them intelligently.
The players in the 4th and 5th positions of each team are basically excellent players in physical condition. You must have good height as well as good strength. Among such players, O’Neal was one of the best in the military. It was difficult to find a center that could block one-on-one when O’Neill caught the ball near the post, as he had the ability to dominate the paint zone, rivaling the best ever.
Of course, help defense had to come in, and the double team and the basic triple team were also attached from time to time. Nevertheless, O’Neill penetrated the Tall Forest with force from the front… , No, it destroyed the bottom of the opponent’s goal. Because of this, the Western Conference teams, who had no choice but to face O’Neal frequently, tried hard to supply a strong player who could withstand O’Neal’s struggles even for a while.
In the end, many teams had to change their composition of players due to O’Neill alone, and there were many times when they used different strategies than usual in actual games. That alone could be called a tremendous ‘O’Neill effect’. Even looking at the past, I wonder if there has ever been a center that has demonstrated this much power with only a monotonous attack pattern near the bottom of the goal. Simple attack techniques and narrow range of attacks were not a problem for O’Neill.
At least, his free throw was not good, so a tactic to deal with only one O’Neal called ‘Hack-a-Shaq’ came out, but I wonder how much O’Neill would have done without an answer. If you look at various basketball-related communities, ‘What if the 00 player had an option called 00?’ There are often virtual surveys or controversial articles such as
About O’Neill, it’s simple. ‘What if you had the shooting ability? What if there were more attack options?’ There are still many articles such as ‘What if O’Neill’s free throw exceeds 00%?’ It’s because O’Neill, who has a good free throw, feels that there is no need for this or that plus alpha on the other side.
If Michael Jordan, mentioned in the last episode, oppressed the opposing team with a strong desire to compete, saying, “I am the most vicious guy in this area,” the opponents who faced O’Neill would say, “What… , Are there any guys like that?” In any case, it is clear that O’Neill was a player who brought tremendous ‘power up’ to his team at the peak of his career.메이저놀이터
Just because there is O’Neill, he would not have been pushed back by any team as much as the frontal power confrontation, and it seems that his colleagues felt the reassurance in the process. In addition, due to the nature of dragging two or three defenders along, his teammates’ ‘Staff Up!’ would have naturally followed. O’Neal had a rough attacking style, but he also had a good passing sense. This is why the ‘one-two punch’ is immediately reminiscent of any player in the league.