Shaq v. Walton

Did Shaq just compare Bill Walton to Greg Ostertag?


Let's see here.

While Walton and Shaq never faced off, Shaq does defer to Kareem in the video.

Walton faced Kareem six times in meaningful games over the course of their careers, four times in 1977 and twice in 1986. The Blazers swept the Lakers in the WCFs in 1977, with Walton averaging 19 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks and 6 assists, on his way to winning the series MVP. In one game alone, Walton tallied 22 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists, and nine blocks.

In 1986, the Celtics and Lakers played twice during the regular season. In both games Walton dominated Kareem. At home, the Celtics defeated the Lakers 110-95. Walton hit five of six shots, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished 5 assists while blocking a whopping seven shots in 16 minutes. Walton frustrated Jabbar every minute he was on the floor, holding Kareem to two field goals on eight attempts. In Los Angeles, the Celtics again won comfortably, with Walton posting 10 points, seven rebounds, 5 blocks, and four assists. This time he held Kareem to 1 field goal in five attempts.

I'll take a healthy Bill Walton over a healthy Shaquille O'Neal every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

Greg Ostertag?

Let's just say I don't find the comparison apt.

Next time I need representation, remind me not to hire Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq's sudden ability to play extended minutes in Phoenix after supposedly being injury plagued all year in Miami made his case a difficult one to argue in the first place. But the Ostertag-Walton comparison flushed any remaining credibility down the poogie.

And Shaq's presumed Big-Man Pecking Order doesn't do much to restore his credibility either.

Shaq doesn't make my list of top five big men, and here's why.

As for Bill Walton?

I concur with these sentiments.


The Kid said...

Lex I have to say I strongly disagree with you here. Shaquille O'Neal is definitely better than Bill Walton and I say he's the 4th best center of alltime. Shaq has 4 rings and had at one time the highest scoring average in Finals history, even better than Jordan. The Shaq of 2000-2002 is the most dominant player I have ever seen and makes a case for the most dominant player in league history. And I say all of this as a person who HATED Shaq and not even as a Celtics-Lakers rivalry point of view.

Lex said...

Yeah, I was just have a conversation with my much younger neighbor.

You (as in all of us) tend to favor the athletes you grew up with.

Everyone's entitled...but I like the fact that I'm quoting Shaq's coach to criticize him.

As for Walton, he was simply the most complete and most dominant center I've ever seen.

Lex said...

If you didn't see Walton play, it's really tough to get more than a taste. Even the 1986 DVDs don't capture him at his best. He played his best ball against kareem and a dozen or so other games that year, most of 1976 and all 60 games from 1977.

He was astonishing in how many ways he could beat you...a lot like bird.

The Kid said...

I see what you're saying about Walton but Larry Bird said it best. He was asked early in this decade about the next Jordan and he said I don't why they keep talking about the next Jordan when that player is already here, and he was referring to Shaq. In my opinion no player ever so thoroughly dominated the competition like Shaq did in his prime. That guy was the definition of unstoppable.

Lex said...

He was definitely a great power player.

wallyb said...

Uh, Walton only averaged 2 blocks in the 77 WCF, not 6. Not sure where you got that. Kareem killed Walton statistically in that series. Kareem outscored Bill 30-19 on average (121-77 in total points) shooting 61 percent from the field to Walton's 50 percent, he outrebounded Bill by a 16-15 average (64-59 total) and averaged nearly four blocks to Bill's 2 (15-9). Bill played great in the clutch in game 3, but his teammates bailed him out in the other 3 games because Kareem owned him. LA was without starting PF Kermit Washington and injured Laker starting pg Lucius Allen played 10 total ineffective minutes in the series, otherwise LA may have won. Head-to-head all time, Kareem had better all-around numbers than Walton and his teams won more games (19-14). John Wooden has always said Kareem was more dominant and valuable and he was right

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