“He Ain’t Better Than Hakeem Olajuwon”, Shaquille O’Neal thinks Hakeem Olajuwon was better than Michael Jordan

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal may have a doctorate, but he isn’t exactly the most eloquent person out there. The four-time NBA Champion has had plenty of misunderstandings in his day. Well, back in 2019, he nearly sent Kenny Smith storming off the set of Inside the NBA. All he did was claim that Michael Jordan wasn’t better than Hakeem Olajuwon. An incredibly hot take and one that would have taken the world by storm had he not clarified his position.


Having been drafted in 1992, Shaq has had the luxury of playing against some of the finest players in NBA history. Two of them being His Airness and The Dream. Both of them were exceptionally good players but with two completely different play styles.

This was O’Neal’s logic when Kenny Smith stated that MJ was better than every big. A statement that Big Diesel took seriously and one that he vehemently denied. Albeit there was some confusion mixed in there. Especially considering that the big fella thought they were discussing Michael’s post-game.

Shaquille O’Neal caused an uproar when he claimed Michael Jordan wasn’t better than Hakeem Olajuwon
In 2019, the Golden State Warriors were the subject of several debates. After all, they had assembled a super team, with a starting five that ideally included Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and DeMarcus Cousins.

At the time, Cousins was just recovering from an Achilles injury. One that severely deterred his performance. To the point, where he was considered the fifth-best player on the team. This, however, was the point that led to one of the stranger debates on Inside the NBA.

While discussing Cousins’ situation, Kenny Smith compared Klay Thompson to him. Something that Shaquille O’Neal did not appreciate, as he claimed that two players in different positions cannot be compared. To this, The Jet responded that Michael Jordan, the GOAT was better than every big man. And, it was here that Shaq took issue, shockingly claiming that Hakeem Olajuwon was better than MJ (starts at 4:50).

Shaq: “He ain’t better than Hakeem Olajuwon. Michael Jordan is a guard. Kenny let me tell you something, you are a guard, stay in your category. You’re a little man, so stay over there!”

Kenny: “You don’t think Michael Jordan is better than the player that you just named?”

Shaq: “No, in the post…no. Not in the post! You can’t compare bigs and guards…stop it!”

Fortunately, this obviously hot take was clarified as the debate raged on. Shaq would later point out that Jordan was not a better post player than Hakeem. And, that was how he put down Kenny’s decision to compare guards and bigs.

Shaq knows that Michael Jordan is the GOAT both as a basketball player and as an athlete

Many would be shocked to hear such words coming from Shaquille O’Neal. But, luckily, he provided context, because the reality of the situation is, Shaq knows that MJ is the GOAT. He has said so on multiple occasions and recently even shared a post agreeing with Chat GPT that Jordan is the greatest athlete of all time.

Shaq is smart enough to know that players like Jordan come around once in a lifetime. It’s just that Michael isn’t the GOAT when it comes to playing in the post.

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