Shaq or Dwight? Who’s Orlando’s Real Superman!!

Posted on 03. Jun, 2009 by Nolan Shulman in NBA

For two plus years there’s been a slight rift between Shaq Diesel and Dwight Howard. Shaq feels that Dwight stole his nickname, and Dwight doesn’t neccesarily care. The media and fans have taken to calling Dwight Superman and as far as Dwight’s concerned, he’s earned that reputation. Both players (have) accomplished very special things in the early portion of their careers with Orlando. Who do you agree with? Personally, I think there’s only room in the league for one Superman. Should it be Shaq, who made the nickname popular in the late 1990’s? Or should it be Dwight, who currently holds the leagues title as most feared big man? I’m here to break down who’s career in Orlando gives them more of the right to go by the nickname SUPERMAN !!!

STATISTICS

Shaquille’s Orlando Statistics:
27.2 ppg, 12.4 reb, 2.5 ass, 2.7 blk, 58% FG, 54% FT

Dwight’s Orlando Statistics:
17.3 ppg, 12.5 reb, 1.4 ass, 2.0 blk, 57% FG, 60% FT

So in terms of statistics the clear edge goes to Shaq. He scored 10 more points per game, handed out more assists, and blocked more shots than Dwight during his stay in Orlando. Dwight shoots free throws a little better, but not good enough for it to offset any of the other categories.

ACCOLADES

Dwight Howard:
- First player in NBA History to start all 82 games directly out of high school.
- Finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting
- 3 time NBA All-Star
- 2 time all NBA First Team selection
- 2009 Defensive Player of the Year
- 1 time NBA Defensive First Team selection
- Youngest player in NBA history to record 5000 rebounds
- Bronze Medal in FIBA World Championship
- Gold Medal in the Olympics (Redeem Team)
- 1 time Eastern Conference Champion

Shaquille O’Neal:
-Rookie of the Year
-Started in NBA All-Star Game as a Rookie
-1 time Scoring Champion
-4 time NBA All-Star
-3 time all NBA Third Team
-1 time all NBA Second Team
-Gold Medal in the Olympics (Dream Team 2)
-1 time Eastern Conference Champion

I would say the accolades are pretty close. Shaq won Rookie of the Year, while Dwight came in 3rd. Shaq was a scoring Champion and Dwight has never been close. Shaq went to 4 all-star games in 5 years while Dwight has been to 3 in 4 years. On the flip side, Dwight was a Defensive Player of the Year and Shaq was not. Dwight has been selected to 2 First team all NBA’s, while Shaq was never a first team all nba selection in Orlando. He can thank Hakeem for that. They both anchored the middle and won Gold Medals in the Olympics and both went to an NBA Finals. I’d say it’s currently even in the accolades department.

Considering Shaq has the advantage statistically and they seem to be all locked up in the accolades department, the only way Dwight can lay claim to the nickname is by doing the only thing Shaq couldn’t while in Orlando. If Dwight can lead Orlando to an NBA Championship ring, he will have bested the original Superman and can officially lay claim to the throne in Orlando. That would give him every right to call himself anything he wants. If the Mamba and his Laker teammates get the best of Dwight, however, and the Lakers end up hoisting the trophy, than Shaq has a legitimate beef. You can’t steal the nickname of the player that came before you without asking their permission. Not unless you’ve surpassed that player on the food chain. It’s safe to say Dwight has a very uphill battle to better Shaq in terms of Career numbers and and career legacy, but he has a very real chance of besting Shaq’s Orlando years. He’s 4 wins away from being the biggest figure in Orlando Magic history. Without those 4 wins, it’s time for the world to give Shaq back his nickname. He made it up and has earned the right to have to give permission to someone lower than him on the food chain.

Nolan Shulman
nolan@flagrantfouls.com

Share and Enjoy:

Related posts

Tags: Dwight Howard, ,

Leave a Reply