Whenever anybody thinks about the game of basketball, the NBA or sports in general, the first name that usually comes to mind is Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls. Throughout his career he scored over 32,000 points, won six NBA titles, six NBA Finals MVP awards and five NBA regular season MVP awards. He undoubtedly will go down as the greatest player in the history of not only basketball but all of sports. Every time a big name enters the NBA Draft, everybody always asks “Is this kid the next Michael Jordan?” Michael has always been the measuring stick for NBA stars. Even today you can see debates daily on TV about how current stars like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James compare to Jordan. The argument that Jemele Hil from ESPN.com raised is could Shaquille O’Neal have been this measuring stick? Could he have gone down as the greatest player in NBA history instead of Jordan?
Jemele’s argument is that Shaquille O’Neal who entered the league in 1992 should have been the man that goes down as the greatest player of all time. Shaq was almost a perfect response to Michael Jordan. Where Jordan was psychotically determined and polished, Shaq was often goofy and darling. Nothing mattered more than basketball for Michael Jordan, and it showed. When Jordan was working tirelessly toward bettering himself for the next season, Shaq was shooting movies portraying him as a genie or a superhero. While Jordan was in the gym shooting for hours on end, Shaq was recording rap albums which sold very poorly. For Shaq, basketball was the day job. A day job he did seem to love and that he was obviously incredible at. But the game was just a piece of him. For Michael Jordan the game was him, it was what he lived for and he strived to be the best at what he does. We sit at the end of his long and great 19 year NBA career and we know now basketball was just a piece of Shaq. She attempts to convince the reader of how it could have been if Shaq had applied himself to the same level...
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