March 03, 2006

The End of an Era(?): Jason Gurney of charts the progression of Shaquille O'Neal's career. And comes to the conclusion that "... we're very close to having zero superstar centers left in the league."

posted by lilnemo to basketball at 07:36 PM - 22 comments

Of course this is taking place at a time where the game is seeing the power forward renaissance head on a downward trajectory as well.

posted by lilnemo at 07:44 PM on March 03, 2006

Do you think? Seems like the game has just moved to a different way of using the 4/5 spots. I'm watching the Celtics and some kid on the Pacers bench is a monster (thank God he's a bench player for some reason): 7 foot tall, can hit a jumper from 15'-18', bang the glass, etc. Tim Duncan isn't a center mainly because he's so mobile. OTOH, we're definitely fresh out of centers. And if you think the NBA is bad, point out all the great centers in college for me. Maybe it's just a different game?

posted by yerfatma at 08:27 PM on March 03, 2006

Speed and 3 point shooting will beat height anyday.

posted by budpatient at 08:42 PM on March 03, 2006

Which is why Rick Pitino won a NCAA Championship at PC. Except he didn't.

posted by yerfatma at 08:58 PM on March 03, 2006

the reason why is the nba has evolved into a more sleek fast paced league. todays game centers are expected to do more then "take up space in the lane". IMHO the age of the big centers is over and maybe the center position all together. Dont be suprised if Yao Ming is the last of the giants.

posted by adanitish at 09:12 PM on March 03, 2006

All I have to say is good. Goodbye Shaq, I hope you never surface again. If you think I may dislike this gentleman, then you are right. I know he has done me no harm, but I really really really do not like him. Thank you and good day.

posted by chucodimebag at 09:13 PM on March 03, 2006

Speed and 3 point shooting will beat height anyday. Which is why Bill Russell, Bill Walton, Kareem Adbul-Jabbar, Artis Gilmore, Patrick Ewing, Shaquille O'Neal and Hakeen Olajuwon had such miserable NBA careers.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:39 AM on March 04, 2006

man the game is just different what passes as a big man these days just ain't what it used to be that sorry German here in dallas is a big man but he couldn't post up a doughnut let along another person. the thing is that the game has evolved away from the basket because there are more fast people and people who can shoot than tall people with coordination

posted by byrdman822 at 09:26 AM on March 04, 2006

In Shaq's case I have to compare him to a running back. Allmost every time he gets the ball he gets hit. He is a huge guy, but years of punishment will add up. Also it's a lot harder for post up centers with zone defence in effect.

posted by Snipes at 11:02 AM on March 04, 2006

Speed and 3 point shooting will beat height anyday Maybe in college ball, but in the nba, size will always dominate.

posted by nort_12345 at 12:39 PM on March 04, 2006

I'd say that if "that sorry German in Dallas" was born 20 years earlier (and all the other variables were the same), he'd have spent more time working on post-up skills instead of crossover dribble and three-point work, and developed into a "proper" big man instead of a 7-foot forward. But that's not what the game requires as much these days. Shaq is a genetic anomaly, a dump truck with a [S] tattoo. No one else could do what he's done. (Yao might have the physical ability to be like that if he wanted to, but he's too agile to bother.) It's just the times. Frankly, I like it.

posted by chicobangs at 01:16 PM on March 04, 2006

I would definately say that size still beats speed in the playoffs. Every team that has a solid inside player, that plays inside-out is successful. Maybe two exceptions... maybe Chris Bosh, but after a couple more years of development, he's there. And Kevin Garnett, no reason... just cursed. Besides that, all of the bad teams are lacking a good big man. Shaq, Ben Wallace, Yao, TD, Pau, J O'Neal. All could be considered centers, all successful teams (when healthy). The game is evolving into a power forward dominant game, but there will come another center before long, whether he be 7'3 or like shaq and 340 lbs. Eventually it will cycle back to a center's game.

posted by Snikastyle at 02:03 PM on March 04, 2006

Its a shame to see the end of Shaq...I remember watching Hakeem on the downward spiral of his career and how he fell down to the wear and tear of playing so much. NBA big men are great players for a stretch of time...but after about 12-13 years of dominance, they begin to break down...and with all that size, you can see why... And NO, Shaq is not the last center...he's the last of his era...the modern center of today is more athletic (Hakeem like if I could compare them to anyone really) give it some time...there will be another 7-1, 7-2 monster of muscle...before long there will be another shaq out there...

posted by chemwizBsquared at 02:47 PM on March 04, 2006

When you have a Shaq you evolve to a center dominant game. A good coach plays the players that he has rather than attempt to make a Shaq-like player out of a "sorry German in Dallas," or any other player who is not and can not be capable of dominating the post, such as is Shaq's forte because of all the attibutes that he possesses. I can imagine some dumbass putting Dirk Nowitski in the position to play the same game as does Shaquille O'Neal and destroying what so many of us consider the best basketball talent to hit this town, Dallas. But, I'm a Spurs fan.

posted by Bud Lang at 03:48 PM on March 04, 2006

Last time I checked, Ben Wallace is only 6'9, the size of most 3,4's, not very tall compared to Tim Duncan & Shaq & Jordan and the bulls won 6 Championships without a dominating big man.

posted by budpatient at 04:53 PM on March 04, 2006

Which is very pertinent to this discussion.

posted by lilnemo at 04:56 PM on March 04, 2006

There are a ton of legitimate 3s at 6'9". I just can't think of them.

posted by yerfatma at 06:53 PM on March 04, 2006

Two words: Shawn Bradley Go Mavs!

posted by adanitish at 07:13 PM on March 04, 2006

yo i think that we are losing a lot of good centers around here and i dont think we need to lose shaq

posted by icetea at 07:38 PM on March 04, 2006

yo i think that we are losing a lot of good centers around here and i dont think we need to lose shaq Yeah and we didn't need to lose Bill Russell, Bill Walton, Kareem Adbul-Jabbar, Artis Gilmore, Patrick Ewing, Shaquille O'Neal and Hakeen Olajuwon either. Here is a newsflash dumbass, playing in the NBA for a long time isn't easy. And since the human body loses effectiveness as it gets older, I really don't think Shaq has a choice.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:57 PM on March 04, 2006

Does the Ying Yang Mafia ever have a membership drive?

posted by Bud Lang at 08:41 AM on March 05, 2006

Yea, I'm not sure why Ben Wallace being 6'9 is so important. He is still a center, maybe a short one, but he is the center. He is a center on every video game. He is listed as center on his official team roster. And he blocks shots like a center. He is a center.

posted by Snikastyle at 04:59 PM on March 11, 2006

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