Shaquille O’Neal, one of the most dominant and decorated centers in NBA history, revealed his list of the top 10 players of all time in an interview. The 51-year-old's list, which is not in any particular order, includes some of the most iconic names in basketball as well as some surprising choices. O’Neal’s list consists of Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, himself, Stephen Curry, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, Karl Malone, and Isiah Thomas. He also added Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to his second team, making it a top 11.
O’Neal’s list reflects his admiration for players who have won multiple championships, MVP awards, and scoring titles. He also shows respect for players who have played with him or against him during his illustrious career, which spanned from 1992 to 2011.
Some of the names on O’Neal’s list are undisputed legends who are widely regarded as the best players ever in their respective positions. Johnson, Bryant, Jordan, James, and Abdul-Jabbar have a combined 20 championships, 14 MVP awards, and 11 Finals MVP awards. They are also among the top five scorers in NBA playoff history.
O’Neal himself is a four-time champion, a three-time Finals MVP, and a one-time MVP. He is also the fifth-highest scorer in playoff history and the fifth-highest rebounder in NBA playoff history. He played alongside Bryant for many seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning three titles together while he also faced Jordan and James during his career. Shaq took to his Instagram handle to post his Top 10 NBA players and wrote, " did i leave anyone out? and who would you trade, take off or addd to my list? lmk your thoughts "
Curry, Iverson, Duncan, Malone, and Thomas are also Hall of Famers who have achieved remarkable feats in their careers. Curry is a four-time champion, a two-time MVP, and one of the greatest shooters of all time. Iverson is a one-time MVP, a four-time scoring champion, and one of the most influential players in NBA culture.
Duncan is a five-time champion, a two-time MVP, and arguably the best power forward ever. Malone is a two-time MVP, a two-time scoring champion, and the third-highest scorer in NBA regular-season history. Thomas is a two-time champion, a one-time Finals MVP, and one of the best point guards ever.
Shaq also reacted on the USA ranked at the second spot in the latest Power Rankings ahead of the FIBA World Cup 2023. Criticizing the team, Shaq wrote, "what your gonna do about this Team usa. and are they still called the #DREAMTEAM"
However, some fans may disagree with O’Neal’s list, as he left out some notable names who are often considered among the top 10 players of all time. These include Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Oscar Robertson. Chamberlain and Russell are two of the most dominant centers ever, having combined for 13 championships and nine MVP awards.
Bird is a three-time champion, a three-time MVP, and one of the best small forwards ever. Olajuwon is a two-time champion, a one-time MVP, and one of the best defensive players ever. Robertson is a one-time champion, a one-time MVP, and the first player to average a triple-double in a season (the only player in history besides Russell Westbrook).
O’Neal’s list may be controversial to some fans, who have different criteria for ranking the best players of all time. However, it is also understandable that O’Neal has his own preferences and opinions based on his personal experience and perspective. After all, he is one of the greats himself and has earned the right to express his views on the game he loves.