Skip to main content

Kevin Garnett believes Shaquille O’Neal was the face of the NBA in the post-Michael Jordan era

Shaquille O'Neal was one of the best bigs to ever play and for Kevin Garnett, The Big Diesel was once the face of the NBA.
Shaquille O'Neal was the face of the league according to Kevin Garnett

Shaquille O'Neal was the most dominant player in the NBA for a significant period

Shaquille O'Neal was one of the best bigs ever to play the game. His place among the all-time greats is already secured, but Kevin Garnett gave The Big Diesel one of the highest props a player could give to another.

Shaq was the face of the league

It's easy to forget how good Shaq was. O'Neal was one of the last back-to-the-basket bigs who had wasn't familiar with the concept of shooting outside the paint. Despite this, he averaged 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.3 blocks throughout his career. Imagine what those numbers would be if he had a 3-point shooting in his arsenal or made 70 percent of his foul shots.

For Kevin Garnett, Shaq was another big who etched his name in the game's history because of his dominance during his heydays and was once the face of the NBA post-Michael Jordan era. In part 2 of the KG podcast series, Kendrick Perkins and KG talked about many things, and when it came to Shaq, the two agreed that he was once the face of the league.

"Kendrick Perkins: 'Like, was Shaq ever the face of the league?'

Kevin Garnett: 'Hell yeah, Shaq was the face of the league. You don't think Shaq was the face of the league at one point?'

Kendrick Perkins: 'Short stint, maybe.'

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Kevin Garnett: 'Soon as Mike left, it was Diesel... Shaq was the f***ing first superstar. Man, we never had no superstar rhymin and f***ing dancing. Shaq has a platinum album, he sold a million.'"

Post Michael Jordan era

There were a lot of superstars in the NBA after MJ retired. It was a golden era where many superstars were trying to prove they were the next face of the league. There was Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, and Vince Carter. All had different strengths and weaknesses, but for the former Boston Celtics forward, Shaq was the man.

MJ retired in 1998, returned, and retired again in 2003, but he was not the player he once was. Looking at O'Neal's numbers in the years after Jordan left the game, Kevin's high praise has some merits in it.

Shaq's averages in the 1999/2000 season:

29.7 points (career-high), 13.6 rebounds, and three blocks in 79 games. Shaq won the MVP award for the 1999-2000 season. These highlights could give fans another reason to believe in the hype around Shaq back in the day.

O'Neal may be goofy at times, but he knows when to get down to business. Some say he could have won more rings but winning four rings isn't bad. Shaquille O'Neal once owned the league, and fans who could watch it were fortunate enough to have witnessed such a level of dominance. 


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 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.