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Shaquille O'Neal believes Nikola Jokic would not present much of a challenge for him if they played against each other -" He would score some points because he is a great player"

Shaq talks about what a fantasy matchup between him and Jokic would look like and why Jokic wouldn't be too much of a problem for him
Shaquille O'Neal & Nikola Jokic

Shaquille O'Neal & Nikola Jokic

When you ask most fans today who is the best big man in the NBA, they would say Nikola Jokic is that guy, even though Joel Embiid usually comes very close in this conversation. Jokic, on the other hand, has two regular season MVP awards attached to his name and so far in his NBA resume, which is enough for him to be considered the greatest big man in the league today and one of the best in recent history.

Shaq respects Jokic but believes he wouldn't give him many problems

Over 20 years ago, that title belonged to the one and only Shaquille O'Neal, who is still considered one of the most dominant players in the history of the NBA. Shaq won everything you can possibly win in the NBA, both as an individual and while being a part of some legendary teams.

NBA fans love debates surrounding players and teams from different generations and how well they would match up against each other. When it comes to a fantasy matchup between Jokic and Shaq, Shaq gave an interview for Arena Sport, where he actually answered this question by giving a lot of compliments to Jokic but also saying he would not be worried about him one bit.

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Shaq said he would use different strategies to throw Jokic out of his game and therefore limit his impact, especially on offense, where he can do a lot of damage. When it comes to confidence, Shaq had it plenty throughout his entire career, playing in an era that featured several great centers, and he often outplayed all of them, which is the main reason why he feels assured that with Jokic, it would be no different.

"No, never. He would score some points because he is a great player, but it's not about what they do; it's about what you make them do. Everybody is focusing on defense, but it would probably be like when I played against Tim Duncan, where he would get 20, and I would get 20. It would probably be like that the whole time, but at certain points, you have to get them in foul trouble or not let them get you in foul trouble. He is a great player, and I am not saying I would dog him out or stop him, but when there are two great players, you have to take it to them before they take it to you."

A battle between two different playing styles

Jokic and Shaq are two totally different types of big men, and their playing styles couldn't be further apart despite being equally dominant and impactful. Jokic is a finesse player, capable of dropping a triple-double in every game, and is arguably the best passing big man in the game's history. Over the past few years, he expanded his offensive repertoire significantly and is capable of scoring points when he needs to, but he is a true floor general who, many times, is looking to get his teammates involved before himself.

On the other hand, Shaq was a dominant force, a one-man wrecking crew that used his size and strength to dominate the opposing centers easily. During his prime, he posted video game numbers, and it often seemed like no one could have stopped him in the paint, slow him down at best if he wasn't having his night. There were many instances where teams would send three or four people in the paint to stop Shaq from scoring.

So, in reality, it would be a battle between brute force and finesse, and who would come on top would obviously depend on the rules in place during those games. There is no question both of them would put on a show and give each other a hard time on defense, where they both have a variety of moves they can use at any given time. 

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