Considered one of the best NBA coaches in history, Phil Jackson made recent remarks comparing the playing styles of Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O'Neal.
- (Photograph: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
While Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O'Neal would never play on the same court together, comparisons between two of the NBA's greatest players could easily be made, according to Phil Jackson, who spoke during a "Live Talks Los Angeles" event last week. Both players, who played the same position, had one of the same pitfalls, Jackson said Wednesday night, although they excelled in different places.
Measuring 7'1 and up to 300 pounds towards the end of his career, Chamberlain played for the San Francisco Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers before ending his NBA career with the LA Lakers. He is considered one of the most dominant players to have ever played in the NBA, although Shaquille O'Neal may have given him a run for his money.
O'Neil was first drafted by Orlando Magic, but played the bulk of his career with the LA Lakers. According to Jackson, O'Neil was lacking when compared to Chamberlain.
"Shaquille didn't have quite the same athleticism that Wilt had,"Jackson said according to the L.A. Times. "He had the bounce and he had the speed, but he didn't have the endurance."
Even without the endurance however, O'Neal was always quick on his game.
"Shaq was a post sprinter. He'd go and get in the lane," Jackson explained.
"Wilt was never much of a post sprinter. He used to take his time. When he rebounded, a lot of times he'd make the guards come back to him to get the ball - so he'd be down there when the ball got to the other end of the court."
O'Neal also had a signature shot where Chamberlain didn't.
"[O'Neal] had a jump hook whereas Wilt didn't have a jump hook, he had an array of shots, he had a hook, a finger roll and a turnaround jump shot," said Jackson.
But both players struggled at one thing.
"Free-throw shooting? [Issues] on both sides," Jackson added.