If you'd ask Shaquille O'Neal, the Nets were wise not to trade Brook Lopez, Marshon Brooks, Kris Humphries and three first round picks for Dwight Howard. That's because he thinks Lopez is better than the Lakers center. In a roundtable of NBA.com and TNT analysts, Shaq said, and we quote...
Some people say Dwight Howard is the best center in the league, but me being an old school center, I'm going to go with Robin (he meant) Lopez and Andrew Bynum because they play with their back to the basket.
(Loud cat-calling ensued.)
Listen to what I'm saying. I'm not talking about dunking. I'm talking about playing like a big man with the moves. My man, before he had the foot injury, was putting up nice solid big man numbers. He doesn't have a lot of flash a la Tim Duncan, but he can play. If you put him with a nice team around him, you'll get a lot from this big man. If you want a lot of flash and dunking and pick and roll, you got to go Dwight Howard, but me, the last true original dundaughta of all big men, I'm going with Andrew Bynum and Brook? Brook Lopez!
Now, far be it from us to take anything away from Shaq, and he is a lot bigger than us, but as Charles Barkley pointed out, the former Laker big man has problems with the current Laker big man. As for Barkley, he simply told Shaq. "First of all you've got some good points. You're just wrong. Dwight Howard is the best big man in the game."
Shaq has been complimentary of Lopez in the past, Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York reports. "Classy guy," O'Neal has said, referring to Lopez. "You'll never hear about him getting in trouble. Great moves, great composure, and you're really not going to faze him. A couple guys will probably try to rough him up, but that's not going to faze him. Good player. Good player."
- Shaq, Ernie, Charles et all Discuss the Best Big Men in the NBA today (Video) - NBA TV
- Shaq: Lopez better than D-12 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Opening Tip: Is Shaq right? - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York