Shaquille O’Neal lists Tim Duncan amongst greatest centers in NBA History

By Michael Rehome

San Antonio Spurs great Tim Duncan is considered the best power forward of all time. During his career there was always some debate whether he was a center or a power forward.

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Duncan played the center position a majority of time towards the end of his career. In doing so, he became one of the best rim protectors in the league. Whether your a fan or the member of the media, Duncan is still referred to as a power forward.

Which would probably explain why O’Neal referred to him as a center in an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio.

O’Neal was amongst two others whom were just inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He faced off against Duncan numerous times through his career when he was with the Lakers.

In the early 2000’s, it was usually O’Neal’s Lakers versus Duncan’s Spurs in the postseason as the two battled for West supremacy.

Nov 9, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) argues a call with the referee during the second quarter of the game against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

During the interview, O’Neal was asked to rank his all time greatest centers in NBA History. He placed Duncan with the best of them and also gave a slight edge to the Spurs great for being a better player than him-based on championships. Duncan has one more than O’Neal (5-4).

“So Bill Russell has to be number one right? He has 11 (titles) right? And then Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) has six (titles) right? And then who’s next? Anybody have five or four?”

“(Tim) Duncan got five, I got four.”

“So you know, you just got to go by winning.”

Like many players that have retired from the game, the next step in their careers usually stays around the game. O’Neal not only being an NBA Analyst for TNT also has his own podcast, ironically named “The Big Podcast With Shaq”.

With the debate surrounding people labeling Duncan as “The Big Fundamental”. O’Neal stated on his podcast of the issue he had with the label.

“They’re saying he’s one of the greatest big men. Do you count power forwards as big men? Because I don’t. I was always thought that the big man was a center. I know we got new rules and they don’t have the center spot no more, but no.”

There is no reason for debate now. Duncan ended a career that many would only get to dream of. Whether he played the power forward position or center, one thing is certain, he was one of the best players to every play the game.

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