Shaquille O’Neal Surprisingly Places Allen Iverson Ahead of Close Friend Charles Barkley in THIS Debate

Published 09/16/2021, 10:17 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 13: (L-R) Former NBA players Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller and Shaquille O’Neal attend the 2016 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)


11-time All-Star Allen Iverson is often regarded as one of the best shooting guards of the game. The 14-year NBA veteran won everything that any NBA player dreams of, except for the NBA championship. But that doesn’t take away the fact that he is one of the most influential players in the game’s history. Another great of the game, Shaquille O’Neal, also feels that ‘AI’ was the toughest player in the NBA.

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Allen Iverson spent most of his career at the Philadelphia 76ers and the Sixers retired his jersey no. 3 after his retirement. A four-time scoring champion and three-time steals leader, many rate AI as the greatest player ever to never win a championship.

031258.SP.0806.lakers12.WS –– Lakers Kobe Bryant and 76ers Allen Iverson have a few words with each other at the end of the fourth quarter of the NBA Final game between the Lakers and the 76ers, Friday, June 8, 2001 at the Staples Center. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Shaquille O’Neal has joined the list of people who believe that. In a recent interview, Shaq placed Allen Iverson ahead of his friend Charles Barkley in terms of the toughest guard in the NBA.

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Shaquille O’Neal places Allen Iverson ahead of close friend Charles Barkley

Shaquille O’Neal appeared on a recent episode of ‘Scoop B Radio‘. In the conversation, Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson asked Shaq about “The greatest guy never to win a championship?” To this, Shaq replied: “A.I.”

Scoop B then asked Shaq about the “Toughest little guard ever?” and “Toughest to guard?” And to everyone’s surprise, Shaquille O’Neal picked Allen Iverson ahead of Charles Barkley.

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Anyone would have guessed that Shaq’s answer would be Charles Barkley. However, to everyone’s surprise, Shaq feels Allen Iverson is the greatest player to never win an NBA title.

1993 NBA MVP Charles Barkley played for three different teams in the NBA during his career. He featured 13 times in the playoffs in his 16-year-old NBA career. However, he failed to win a ring in his career and had to settle for the Olympic Gold as his greatest team achievement.

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Aug 1992: Chris Mullin (L), Charles Barkley (M) and Magic Johnson (R) of Team USA, the Dream Team, on the victor’s podium after winning the gold medal in the men’s basketball competition at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Icon Sportswire)

There are no right or wrong answers to who is the greatest player to never win an NBA title. Charles Barkley was a different beast altogether and was an important member of the ‘Dream Team’ that won the Olympic Gold. To lead the scoring charts for a team that is touted by many as the greatest ever is a monumental achievement in itself.

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Abhishek Singh

196 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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