Why Shaq Would Easily Dominate Rudy Gobert
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Shaq vs. Gobert
Matt Bassin: Whether you’re Javale McGee on Shacked and a Fool, whether you’re Dwight Howard, not earning the Superman mantle, or you are Rudy Gobert coming out and earning $200 million a while Shaq pokes fun at him for scoring what, 11 points on average and saying that’s worth $200 million.
Shaq and Gobert have had a thing going on for a while. When Rudy cried for not making the all-star team in 2019, Shaq was all over him. The $200 million contract extension, Shaq was all over him.
And then in January of last year, Shaq posted a pic on Instagram, a fake picture, obviously of him dunking on Gobert and saying he would have 45 and 16 with 10 missed free throws, that part is probably true, after just three quarters and Gobert would have 11 and 4, I think he’d have more than four personally, and fouled out before the fourth quarter.
Four rebounds. And then obviously Chuck‘s going to be Chuck and poke the bear and needle him.
And he was saying, that, Gobert would knock his ball into the next zip code and all that. So it got me thinking though about trying to find some way of figuring out what would happen if these two met in their prime. I wasn’t looking for a go-Gobert look-alike during Shaq’s time.
Rudy Gobert is 7’1”. He’s about 250 pounds for his career, his averages right now are around 12 points and 12 rebounds. And he’s a three-time defensive player of the year. In Shaq’s era, there was a center who was also 7’1” and also weighed around 250 pounds.
He averaged at the height of his career, if he took his best the first 10 or so, he was averaging about 12 and 12. And he’s a four-time defensive player of the year. And I’m talking about the Dikembe Mutombo.
So we have seen a version of Shaq versus Rudy. I’m not saying they’re the same player, but Dikembe Mutombo, is not a slight on any center and Rudy Gobert is not lighting you up on the scoreboard.So to me, I think it’s a fair comparison to put these two together.
Ryan Griffin: Yeah, and Dikembe Mutombo has four defensive players of the year awards. That’s more than anybody, except for Ben Wallace, who is spoiler alert, we’re going to get to as well. And Shaquille O’Neal in the 2001 NBA finals against the Philadelphia 76ers, who had Dikembe Mutombo as their starting center. Shaq averages 33 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 assists.
And three blocks and shot 57% from the field, the Lakers, famously only winning that series and five with the only game that they lost in the entire playoffs, to Allen Iverson. It doesn’t matter. Shaq took centers for time defensive player of the year to Dikembe Mutombo and he just ground them into meat, like it was nothing.
That’s not the only one he did that to. He did that to David Robinson, he did that to Patrick Ewing and he even gave Hakeem Olajuwon the business before they ended up losing the finals. But Shaq was just amazing. There’s nothing that Rudy could Gobert could do. And in the 2004 files Shaq against another four-time defensive player of the year and Ben Wallace, 27 points, 11 boards, and on 63% shooting.
So even the best defenders of all time weren’t able to stop, Shaq. And look, Gobert’s are great at defense, but he is not going to be able to do anything with Shaq. And Gobert’s a guy that other guys have trash talked. I know Ben Simmons in a game without a Joel Embiid, maybe two years ago. It feels like the last time that he played basketball, I think he ended up scoring like 42 points or something.
And they asked him about it in the interview. Do you think you should be defensive player of the year or do you think Gobert should be? He’s said, when we went against each other like I scored 42 and I’m not even the scorer.
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