Phil Jackson’s Comparison Between Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal

Published 06/04/2021, 1:30 PM EDT

The NBA has seen a lot of dominant players in the league’s history. Be it LeBron James or Kobe Bryant, they have encapsulated the standards for generations to come. However, when we speak about pure dominance, Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan are at the forefront. There are no players more dominating than them. MJ won six titles with the Chicago Bulls, while Shaq won three titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.


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Former NBA head coach Phil Jackson reflected on Shaq and Jordan in an interview, where he spoke about how he thought the duo to be the best.

ORLANDO, FL – 1993: Shaquille O’Neal #32 of the Orlando Magic poses with Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls prior to playing an NBA game circ 1993 at the TD WAterhouse Centre in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1993 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Phil Jackson draws comparisons between Shaq and Michael Jordan


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In a recent interview, Phil Jackson shared his opinion on how these two players were dominant.

“The reality is, Shaq is so dominant you always have an over-match- you can always draw a double team, you can almost always get a shot for somebody because he’s got a double team.

“The drawback about that is if he’s got to have the ball put in his hand, whereas Michael can get it and take it 90 feet and develop something from within that aspect of bringing it up the court and finding an operating space.

“They’re both great,” Jackson summed up.


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Who was better: MJ or Shaq?

Even though Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time, Shaq was also one of the best in the league. During his time with the Lakers, Shaq won three titles under Jackson. Kobe Bryant and O’Neal ruled the court as they swept away every team that stood in their way.

Shaq was arguably the most dominant center of all time. He averaged 25 plus points for a decade from 1993 to 2003. That is incredible. The commitment he showed on the court was legendary. What’s more impressive is that he managed 3 plus blocks per game from 1999 to 2003 with the Lakers.


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Chicago Bulls All-Star forward # 23 Michael Jordan file photos. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)

On the other hand, Jordan changed the whole complexion of the league with his incredible performances, drives to the rims, and his legendary intangibles. The ability to finish at the rim with contact and being deadly with the mid-range shots is impeccable. Few players in the NBA could match Jordan’s performances on the court.

Phil Jackson is blessed to have coached so many talented players in the league. Kobe Bryant is one name that comes to our mind when we talk about the players he has coached. The caliber of his players remains unmatched, even today.


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Jacob Gijy

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Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.