Skip to main content

The ultimate answer to "Would Shaq dominate in today's NBA?"

Shaquille-O'Neal

For the past few years, we've just been hearing about three-point records getting broken. In '87/'88, Larry Bird, the three-time 3pt shootout winner, took 3.1 threes a game and dropped 41.4% of them. In '20/'21, guys taking 3.1 threes per game are Joel Embiid (36.8%), Solomon Hill (32.3%), and Deni Avdija (31.5), to name a few. If he were playing today, Bird would've probably shot something like 8 threes a game, in the range of Paul George this season, who is making 41.8% - a bit better than Bird in '87/'88.

But the fascination with threes made it seem like the only way to dominate in today's NBA is to shoot a lot from behind the arc. One guy defies that perception and proves that you can still dominate the game on the inside with a simple layup. To put things into perspective, in 2013, Ethan Sherwood Strauss wrote a story titled "The layup masters." At no.1, we had LeBron James, who made 250 layups in '12/'13 (70% out of 357 attempts). This year and the regular season ain't over yet, Giannis is at 243. With that number, he is miles away from the no.1 guy in the NBA.

Williamson is shooting 29.4% from three this year - not a good percentage. Despite that, his overall FG% is an insane 61.1%. Why? Zion knows what he's good at. He is taking 0.6 threes a game and 16.2 attempts within the arc. A guy taking less than one three-pointer a game is dropping a highly efficient 27 per game, proving that he is a legitimate no.1 guy on a deadly offense. The combination of raw strength and athleticism with the softest of touch around the rim makes Zion a nightmare for every defense in the NBA.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

So when people wonder if Shaq would dominate in today's NBA, they have their answer. The crazy thing is his basketball reincarnation appeared in a guy listed at 6'7'', 284lbs. Shaq's Basketball-Reference page has him at 7'1'', 325lbs. The only difference is, when Shaq was playing like this, his teams were Finals contenders. In the era of the play-in, the Pelicans are a long shot even to make the Playoffs.

New Orleans needs to get their act together quick, or they'll be reading about trade requests real soon.

draymond-green-weeding-min

Draymond Green had a huge blunt station at his wedding

No wonder LeBron, Curry, Tatum, and numerous other NBA stars had such a great time at Draymond's wedding.

skip-bayless-lebron-james-bronny-james-min

Skip Bayless takes a dig at Bronny James' monster dunk: "Your dad would have done it better!"

It seems like Skip is planting seeds to hate on the next generation of LeBron James and his family.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Channing Frye

“Everyone loves this conversation, but stop it, because the things that you judge it by is never the same.” — Channing Frye hates the GOAT debate

Frye explains why Shaquille O'Neal's percieved value has depreciated over time because of the GOAT conversation.

Michigan State Spartans center Anthony Ianni and forward Draymond Green

Why ex-teammate Anthony Ianni calls his friendship with Draymond Green a blessing in disguise

A great story explaining why Draymond is beloved by teammates, despite his abrasive character.

Golden State Warriors head coach Keith Smart instructs point guard Stephen Curry

“He didn't believe that much in Steph and would bench him a lot” — Jeremy Lin opens up about the rocky relationship between Steph Curry and his former coach Keith Smart

During Steph's second year in the league, he was often yelled at, benched during the 4th quarter, and reprimanded by his former coach, Keith Smart.

Paul Westhead, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Lakers

“When you try to reign in a 22-year-old elite athlete from pushing himself to be his best, you’re going to get conflict.” — Kareem weighs in on the Magic vs. Westhead issue

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar walked down memory lane and shared his take on the issue between Magic Johnson and Paul Westhead back in the day.