Jason Williams on Shaquille O’Neal: ‘Shaq wouldn’t be as dominant as he was back then today’

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Former NBA guard Jason Williams recently explained why he doesn’t think Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat legend Shaquille O’Neal would be as dominant if he played in the NBA today.

Williams explained that defenses today would pay more attention to O’Neal, which would make things harder for the big man.

“Shaq wouldn’t be as dominant as he was back then today,” Williams said. “Just because there would be four, five guys around him that didn’t even have the ball. It’d be tough.”

Williams and O’Neal spent time together in Miami and won an NBA title with the Heat in the 2005-06 season.

While defense in the NBA has changed, O’Neal’s size and skill would make him a tough player to guard in any era. The Hall of Famer made 15 All-Star teams throughout his storied NBA career and won four NBA titles.

O’Neal is also a three-time NBA Finals MVP and won the league’s MVP award in the 1999-00 season.

Defenses in today’s NBA likely would double O’Neal on every play in the post, but the dominant big man would be a tough matchup for anyone in the league. For his career, O’Neal averaged 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 58.2 percent from the field.

The Heat certainly are glad that Williams and O’Neal were able to team up with Dwyane Wade to win a title against the Dallas Mavericks back in 2006. Williams has given a lot of respect to the current generation and how the game is played now, but he may be selling his former teammate a bit short with his take.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.