Skip to main content

Prime Shaq vs. a rookie Yao Ming

Shaq-vs-Yao

Back in 2003, a phenom from China was introduced to the NBA, as a 7’6’’ center named Yao Ming was drafted first overall. He had the whole country of China on his back and a never seen before hype around him.

That hype was going up, as the matchup between a rookie Yao Ming and 30-year old prime Shaquille O’Neal was set to take the stage for the first time.

It was a duel of two opposites. Yao was a huge and lanky center, with an unbelievable skill set for his size, with a nice touch around the rim and great passing ability. An all-around finesse center. While on the other side you had the biggest powerhouse in the history of the NBA, who would take every player into the rim.

The game and matchup would live up to the hype, as both players gave it their all. Yao showed no fear, as he surprised everybody on the defensive end, keeping Shaq out of the paint and blocking him numerous times, and going at him on the other end.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

He was holding his own for a good chunk of the game, but the reigning MVP was getting better as the game went on and started to dominate and play his game. The game ended up going into overtime, where the Rockets would prevail with a 108-104 win.

Yao blocked O'Neal's first three shots attempts, altered Kobe Bryant's game-winning attempt at the end of regulation and dunked it with 10.2 seconds left for the biggest basket of the night, giving Houston a 104-100 lead to seal the game, as he was a seeming hero of the game.

They both had good stat lines, but Shaq finished with the better statistical line notching 31 points, 13 rebounds and four assists to Yao's 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, but it was ultimately Steve Francis who led them with 44 points.

"How should I put it: We beat the Lakers today, but Shaq is still Shaq," the 7-foot-6 Yao said of the 360-pound O'Neal."He's like a truck."

Houston Rockets' big man Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson

"We were the original 'Twin Towers'” - Ralph Samson on playing with Hakeem Olajuwon in the Houston Rockets

Ralph Sampson looked back at his legacy with Hakeem Olajuwon as the original "Twin Towers."

JJ Redick & Phoenix Suns

JJ Redick shares what makes the Phoenix Suns an even better team and a legitimate contender this season- “I think it makes them a title contender”

Redick notes Bridges' improvements this season before saying that Bridges may be the X factor that could help the Suns emerge as title contenders this season

Charles Barkley & Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Despite not knowing his name, Charles Barkley offers a stern warning to the public if Shai Gilgeous-Alexander isn’t an All-Star starter this season

Barkley said SGA should be an All-Star starter, but couldn't manage to say his name correctly, and hilariously referred to him as Shai Alexander Gilchrist in the process

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert

"You always calling for a ball screen, f*ck all that" - Iman Shumpert discusses his on-court battles with Kevin Durant

Iman Shumpert reveals Kevin Durant was the hardest player he had to guard in his career