Shaquille O'Neal doubts whether Tim Duncan can be called a great 'big man'

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Football News

As a panelist on Inside the NBA on TNT and a podcast host, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member Shaquille O'Neal is a man who is bound to have plenty of opinions.

He was certainly never shy about sharing them during his illustrious career, and in light of San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan's retirement, Shaq has a thought of two about how the 40-year-old will be revered.

Speaking on his podcast 'The Big Podcast with Shaq', the former four-time NBA champion speculated whether The Big Fundamental was really one of the greatest big men of all-time; an area he knows all about.

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"I only have one beef with how they're throwing this around," Shaq said. "They're saying he's one of the greatest big men. Do you count power forwards as big men? Because I don't.

"I was always taught that the big man was a center. I know we got new rules and they don't have the center spot no more, but no."

In fairness, Duncan operated at the pivot towards the end of his career and could justifiably say he played both the four and five spots. However, it would also be fair to say he made his name as a power forward.

Interestingly, Shaq went on to name his five greatest players ever and Duncan was not on the list. The former center listed, in order; Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

However, Shaq had a different outlook in his autobiography, which SportsCenter tweeted out on July 11:

"Whenever I run into a Tim Duncan fan who will claim that Tim Duncan is the GOAT, I won't disagree with him."

At 6'11", Duncan has to be considered as a big man, by all accounts. In fact, that's only two inches shorter than Shaq himself.

It's an interesting debate and one that fans will enjoy tackling, but it will do little to change the fact that Duncan is one of the greatest players to play power forward ever.

San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Tim Duncan
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan

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