Dwight Howard has been compared to many great superstar men during his career. That includes NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. Howard had a similar path in the NBA to O’Neal.
In 1992, the Orlando Magic selected O’Neal with the first selection. Twelve years later, the Magic selected another superstar big man with the No. 1 pick in Howard. The two have become unstoppable forces during their time with magic. They were even both nicknamed “Superman” for their dominating game.
That comparison never went down well with O’Neal, who always struggled with Howard throughout his career. Speaking with Shannon Sharpe on the “Club Shay Shay” podcast recently, Howard opened up about the comparisons between him and O’Neal. Howard said that at first he liked the comparisons, but was eventually surprised by Shaq’s “offense” to the comparisons.
“I liked it,” Howard said. “You know, I felt like he was the most dominant player. And every day I was putting my shirt on, I was like, ‘I’m going to dominate, dominate, dominate, dominate and shoot. I wanted to do what Shaq was doing. If it was dunk on everyone, I want to dunk on everyone.
“But he took offense to it. Like I was trying to disrespect him. And I’m like, ‘Bro, why? You’re the most dominant player to ever play basketball.'”
Dwight Howard discusses Shaquille O’Neal comparisons
It’s hard not to look back on the careers of Dwight Howard and Shaquille O’Neal and not see the similarities. Both were considered sports freaks due to their combination of size and power.
Howard entered the NBA as a big, raw man with an impressive combination of jumping ability and strength. O’Neal wowed fans with his 7-foot-1 frame and ability to roam the floor effortlessly.
Both spent the first part of their career with the Orlando Magic. Ironically, the two also joined the LA Lakers after playing in Orlando.
The main difference was that Howard only played one season with the Lakers before joining the Houston Rockets. O’Neal, meanwhile, became one of the all-time greats during his time with the Lakers. O’Neal won three championships while wearing a Lakers uniform.
Howard won’t win his first NBA championship until 2020, while also wearing a Lakers uniform.
Both big men will be cemented as some of the most talented players to play at center.
For Howard, he continues to wait to see if he will have the chance to adapt to another team as he is currently a free agent.