Former NBA star and current NBA on TNT analyst, Shaquille O'Neal is not the one to shy away from expressing his views on the current NBA superstars, especially the big men. The four-time champion and Hall of Famer recently weighed in on a hypothetical matchup between himself and the 2023 NBA MVP, Joel Embiid.
O'Neal's confidence is not surprising, considering he was one of the most unstoppable forces in NBA history. In his prime, Shaq averaged 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.3 blocks winning the Rookie of the Year award, 1 MVP award, 3 Finals MVP awards, and 4 NBA championships.
O'Neal reposted a graphic on his social media that suggested Embiid could dominate prime Shaq in a one-on-one game, thanks to his versatile offensive skills and solid defense. However, Shaq was not impressed by the idea and dismissed it with a simple caption: "I like these conversations. give me your thoughts. you already kno(w) mine. #barbecuechickenalert."
Embiid, on the other hand, is coming off a historic season that earned him the MVP award. He led the league in scoring with 33.1 points per game, while also grabbing 10.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Embiid's combination of size, strength, skill, and finesse makes him a nightmare matchup for any defender in today's game. The all-star can score from anywhere on the court, whether it's in the post, mid-range, or beyond the arc.
However, Shaq has been critical of Embiid in the past, urging him to play with more physicality and aggression. The big man has also questioned Embiid's durability and consistency, as the Sixers star has missed several games due to injuries and load management.
A one-on-one game between Shaq and Embiid would be an intriguing spectacle, but it would also depend on the rules and conditions of the game. ‘The Superman’ would have a clear advantage in terms of power and efficiency, while Embiid would have an edge in terms of range and versatility. While there is no definitive answer to who would win this fantasy matchup, one thing is certain: Shaq believes he would cook Embiid like barbecue chicken.