Insert Shaquille O’Neal as the latest NBA legend to downgrade a current NBA star.
Shaq sat down with Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated to discuss Philadelphia 76ers star forward Joel Embiid this week.
The former Los Angeles Lakers center is well aware Embiid is an immensely talented player. But he won’t go as far to say he’s dominant. In fact, Shaq won’t even use the “D-word” when describing Embiid.
Chalk this up as another former NBA great not impressed with a current star.
“I wouldn’t use the D-word,” O’Neal told Mannix regarding Embiid, via Ahn Fire Digital. “He’s pretty good, really good, pretty good, but I would not use the D-word.”
Shaquille O’Neal knows a thing or two about being a dominant low-post player. After all, he’s probably the most dominant low-post player of all-time.
The NBA has changed since Shaq was on an NBA court, though. Even during his final years in the league, you could see the transition away from traditional forwards to stretch forwards.
In reality, Joel Embiid is actually probably a dying breed. Teams don’t want to base an entire offense around a post player anymore. It’s plausible that could change in coming years as teams adapt to perimeter offenses. For now, though, Embiid is really in a class of his own.
The good news for Embiid is even if he’s not “dominant,” he’s still a sensational player. And the 76ers don’t need him to be dominant in the low-post area to win games.
The Sixers begin the 2021-22 season on Wednesday, Oct. 20 against the New Orleans Pelicans.