Thursday, November 12, 2009

Superman vs Superman

Everything about Orlando is magical. Wonder world, the Orlando Magic and the fact that in less than two decades, two Supermans have anchored their paint. Every little boy grows up idolizing a different super hero and at some point claims that they are the living version of it. In the 1990s Shaquille O'Neal put Orlando on the map with dominance in the paint. He routintely tore other big men to shreds and broke the glass as he dunked. He made Shawn Bradley look like a pansy. Shaq was not just a man, he was Superman. He brought the Magic to the finals in 1996 and then bolted to Los Angeles. I was only 8 at the time, but Penny Hardaway and Shaq were my favorite players. He left the Magic in the dust and went on to win 4 NBA titles (3 with the Lakers, 1 with the Heat). Orlando was left derelict with no real shot at winning the title. For years they were at best a mediocre basketball team. The Magic needed help and they found it in Dwight Howard. Straight out of highschool, Howard would be the new Superman. For the past decade, Shaq was the dominant force in the paint but a new hot shot was bound to take over. It's just kind of amusing that Dwight Howard also calls himself Superman. When O'Neal played for Orlando he was cheered on as their hero. Now when he visits, a chorus of boos echos the building every time he touches the ball. There is a new Superman in town, Dwight Howard. It's still pretty early on in his career but the man is pretty good. The physical specimen that stands at 6 ft 11 has already garnered 3 All Star, 3 All NBA team, 2 All Defensive, 1 Defensive Player of the Year and 1 Slam Dunk Trophy in his 4 years in the league.

I like Dwight Howard and he is a pretty good center in the league but Shaq was the most dominant center in the NBA. DH is strong no doubt, but Shaq was a beast. The man had to be triple teamed and still couldn't be stopped. Shaq changed the game so much that they had to invent the Shaq attack to stop him, by sending him to the foul line. Detractors will point out that he has a terrible FT %. Imagine shooting a ping pong ball in a beer cup 10 meters away. DH's FT% aren't that great either (58.5%).

Past Superman vs Future Superman

Career stats:

Shaq: 24.6 pts/game 11.2 rpg/game 2.4 blocks/game
Dwight: 17.3 pts/game 12.5 rpg/game 2.0 blocks/game


Shaq: 4 NBA Titles, 3 Movie roles: Blue Chips, Shazam, Steel, 1 MVP, 15 All-Star Team, Rookie of the Year, 14 All-NBA Team, 3 Finals MVP, 2 Scoring Titles, 3 NBA All Defensive Teams

Dwight: 3 All-Star Team, 3 All-NBA Team, 1 Defensive Player of the Year, 1 Slam Dunk Title

Star Quality:

This one goes hands down to Shaq, the great aristotle, Superman, the big Diesel, Shazam. The man goes by so many names because he just has so much character and charisma. Dwight Howard isn't just another stiff lipped boring athelete and does have star quality but he'll never be Shaq. Dwight Howard has moon boots on his feet and can jump very high but it's unlikely that he'll never reach the dominance that Shaq has throughout his career.