Shaquille O'Neal.

Shaq rekindles Superman debate with photoshopped Dwight Howard image

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Shaquille O'Neil has taken to social media today to reignite the 'debate' about who deserves to be known as the NBA's Superman; himself or Dwight Howard.

Shaq was originally given the nickname during his playing days only to see Howard - now with the Rockets - take over the Superman mantle. The future Hall of Famer has intermittently joked about the issue ever since.

Using his own Facebook page, O'Neal made his position on the issue very clear in a way only the future Hall of Famer could - with an expertly photoshopped image of both himself and Howard in action.

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Howard, an eight-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, remains one of the league's elite centers despite Houston's struggles this season.

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Up against the majority of his peers, the 30-year-old would have the right to call himself the Superman. Against Shaq, however, it is always going to be a struggle to win the argument.

With four rings to his name and a place in the Hall of Famer this year a near certainty, O'Neal has the credentials to back up his claim as the NBA's true Man of Steel.

Howard may have climbed higher on the Magic's all-time scorer list than Shaq - he is the franchise's all-time leader with 11,435 points compared to his compatriot's 8,019 - but he will have to find a way to take his game to the next level if he is to silence O'Neal on the issue.

This isn't the first time Shaq has randomly brought up the nickname issue, and why he chose this week to do so again is anyone's guess.


Seeing himself posturised (albeit in a fake image) may be just what Howard needs right now, however.

With the Rockets in a battle to clinch a playoff spot in the West - they currently sit eighth with the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings hunting them down - the Texas franchise need their perennial All-Star to be at his best.

In averaging 14.9 points per game (his lowest total since his rookie season) the veteran hasn't been quite as dominant this season as in years gone by. 

Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder

Given his immense physical presence and talent, however, there is always the chance that Howard turns on the style as the business end of the campaign approaches.

If he is able to battle back from speculation on his future to help the Rockets salvage their season in style, he will certainly move a few steps closer to wrestling that Superman moniker away from Shaq. 

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Southwest Division
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Houston Rockets
Southeast Division
Orlando Magic
Dwight Howard

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