Is it me or is the internet giving us harder and harder choices with these Twitter debate questions. Feels like the last few I've blogged have been absolutely impossible where there's no real right answer. You feel wrong no matter what order you go in and this trio is no different. What we have here are three of the most dominant centers ever. Big time problems for years, all three of em. But you know the rules, someone has to be kicked to the curb. After going through everything this is where I net out
Start: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
I think this is the one most will agree with, even die hard Rockets fans. You start the NBA's all time leading scorer, the guy who is also 4th all time in rebounds and 3rd all time in blocks. His Sky Hook was arguably the most unstoppable offensive weapon a center ever had during his run. You get the longevity, he's also the best passer of the three. People forget this dude averaged 23 points in 33 minutes while playing in 79 games as a 38 year old. That's ridiculous. He played in 80 games at 41! What a monster.
Bench: Hakeem Olajuwon
Here's my case for keeping Hakeem. The Dream Shake was unstoppable and required a shit ton of skill/footwork. He's 13th all time in points, 14th all time in rebounds, and 1st all time in blocks. You know you're legit when people don't have a problem with the fact that you were drafted ahead of Michael Jordan. Now there is one major weakness when it comes to comparing Hakeem to the other two and that's FG%. He was a career 51% shooter, which is drastically lower than both Shaq and Kareem. Despite that though, in his prime he was just as devastating as either guy. Try and discredit his titles all you want because there was no MJ, he still won two with by far the least amount of help by comparison. That matters to me.
Cut: Shaquille O'Neal
It feels wrong to cut arguably the most physically dominant player the league has ever seen, but when you look at it objectively in my opinion it's the only choice. Shaq does rank higher all time in points (10th) compared to Hakeem, but he's behind him in rebounding (16th), blocks (9th), and assists (220th). To decide between the two I looked at what I thought was their best season, while both were in their prime.
Shaq's 1999-2000 season: 79 games / 29.7 points / 13.6 rebounds /3.8 assists /3.0 blocks
Hakeem's 1992-93 season: 82 games / 26.1 points / 13.0 rebounds / 3.5 assists / 4.2 blocks
Not all that different to where I can just ignore the fact that Hakeem finishes higher pretty much everywhere outside of points and FG%. So while it might feel wrong initially, Shaq's gotta go.
So that's my list that I feel has enough evidence to support my reasoning. Now it's your turn. What are you ending up at?