Known as the first “100 million dollar” player in the history of the NBA, Glenn Robinson was a force on the offensive side of the ball who spent his best years with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 90s and early 2000s alongside Ray Allen and Sam Cassel. Big Dog was a talented player who had a sweet midrange game and smooth moves out of the post, but for much of his career, the basketball world felt that he did not reach his full potential and failed to become the type of player worthy of the $100 million contract he signed.
Today, his legacy lives on through his son Glenn III who has been in and out of the league since winning the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest in 2017. Glenn III has the potential to become a solid NBA player, but it just hasn’t happened yet for some reason. He has the athleticism to compete at the highest level but lacks the savvy footwork, and the pure shooting touch his father displayed in the NBA. Big Dog Robinson joined Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson on the podcast “The Knuckleheads” to talk about his NBA career, giving young fans a great snapshot of the legacy that Glenn Robinson left in the league.
Miles and Q-Rich asked Big Dog to give his top-five as they usually do to end the show. The former Bucks forward then shared a surprising list of players. His top five had Michael Jordan at number one, Kobe at number two, Kareem at three, Magic and Bird tied for fourth and Wilt fifth. That is a fine list of players, but he did share his criteria for selection which then brings one tragic omission to mind.
“I go by dominance. Nobody dominated the game like Mike, not even Kobe. Kobe then gave everyone 81, so he’s on there. Kareem had the skyhook and had players his height guarded him but still got it.”Glenn Robinson, The Knuckleheads Podcast
First of all, if he had Magic and Bird tied for fourth, then Glenn’s list should have been MJ, Kobe, Kareem, Magic, and Bird, leaving Wilt out of the five. While all those players are great, it is hard to imagine a list of the most dominant players of all time without Shaquille O’Neal (active players were not allowed to be on the list).
Shaq dominated the game like no other, and he was the only player that literally could not be guarded by a single player in the league during his prime. O’Neal is the most physically dominant player in basketball history; you had to double Shaq, or else he was just going to dunk on you every single trip down. Shaq also brought about the most impactful rule changes to the NBA game, as the league finally allowed teams to play some zone defense to let opposing teams have some chance of containing him.
As with all-star snubs, saying Shaq has to be on the list of the five most dominant players ever means replacing someone on Robinson’s list. If we go by the criteria of dominance, rule changes brought about by one’s dominance should factor heavily. Glenn’s top three in MJ, Kobe, and Kareem are hard to argue with, but if we recall prime Shaq, there was no stopping him. Because of this, only MJ is undoubtedly a more dominant player than Shaq on this list, and even that is close. Magic controlled the game like no other, but dominant might not be the best word to describe his game. He and Kareem won five championships together, but they made each other great, and it is not a foregone conclusion that they would be dominant players without one another. So the five most dominant players ever, excluding active ones like LeBron James, should be MJ, Shaq, Kareem, Kobe, and Larry Bird.
Would you say Shaq is one of the most dominant players of all time? If yes, who on Big Dog’s list would you replace in favor of The Big Diesel?