Shaquille O’Neal loves to pontificate whenever he gets recognition in any basketball conversation on the internet. In a recent post on Instagram, John Salley was asked by Shannon Sharpe who was the best player of the 2000s, and Salley mentioned O’Neal. The four-time NBA champion didn’t hesitate to repost the post for his fans to see.
Sharp listed names on Sally’s list to choose from besides O’Neal, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Kevin Garnett, Allen Allen Ferson, Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan.
“Shaq is the most dominant player I’ve ever seen. But Dirk Nowitzki is in there. But I’m going to take Shaq,” Salley said.
Sully has been playing in the NBA since 1986. The 6-foot-11 center has overseen the league’s transition from Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to Michael Jordan.
He had not played since the 1995-96 season, ultimately spending his final season in the league with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999-2000.
Salley has four championship rings, two with the Detroit Pistons from 1989 to 1990, one with Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls in 1996 and the last in 2000 Along with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.
Sully has won the championship in three different decades, and he has the right and authority to have full knowledge of selecting the best player in each decade.
Shaquille O’Neal and why he’s the best player of the 2000s
It is said that Shaquille O’Neal’s prime began in the early 2000s and lasted until the mid-2000s. By then, the 7-foot-1 center had won four NBA championships — three with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat.
Shaq also won individual awards such as the 2000 NBA MVP, the 2000-2002 NBA Finals MVP, the 2000-2007 and 2009 NBA All-Stars, the 2000-2006 NBA All-NBA Team, and the 2000 Scoring Champion.
Among his contemporaries, if you boil it down to championships, Tim Duncan had three championships and Kobe Bryant had four. Most Lakers fans would agree that Shaq was the best player during the three-peat run alongside Kobe in the 2000s.
Shaquille O’Neal retired in 2011, playing only 37 games for the Boston Celtics. In the 2000s, he played for four different teams. Not mentioned above include the Phoenix Suns with Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire, and the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James.