Many Mega stars in the league dominated the game in their time on court and made name for them in that specific era. Many of them have been selected in the 75th anniversary team and even inducted in the Hall of Fame. Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal had a great career in the NBA, and is still considered as “most” dominant force. He won four NBA Championships, 3 NBA Finals MVP awards. During the prime of his career, he was simply unstoppable. And now also as an analyst, Podcast host, and TV Host he is also ruling on fans hearts. In recent interview Shaq gave away name of top players in the league including some of current reigning champions – Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Even after retiring from the league, Shaq still stayed in touch with the sport, may be through his personal shows, debate shows, and famous one NBA on TNT show. That allowed big man very latest and updated data of current set of players. So for Shaq, who played with GOAT Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and many other HOF players, it would be difficult to make cut into the “Superstar” category. But Shaq gave above mentioned 4 players who he thinks are current Superstars in the league.
Recently, Shaq appeared on a podcast where he was asked about which players he considers superstars in the league. Upon being asked this question, Shaq named there are only four true superstars in the league as of now – actually named 2 on top of his mind and then added 2 after bit of thinking. But interestingly he left the name of Kawhi Leonard off the list – while it came into the discussion.
Shaquille O’Neal makes list of Superstars of current Era, and it includes Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Giannis
It takes longevity, effectiveness on the court, regularity in high end performance and much more to become a star player in the league. And well Superstar is just a level above that. While many NBA stars have made efforts representing their teams on the world’s best basketball league, very few managed to reach to a superstar level.
Shaq named latest NBA Champions, Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo as 2 superstars as soon as he got the question. And after giving little though and help form the questioner herself he added LeBron James and Kevin Durant as other 2 superstars in the league.
After naming these four players, the host also asked Shaq’s thoughts about Kawhi being a superstar. Shaq again looked bit lost in his thoughts and redirected the question to the host only. Well, she believed that there was a time when Leonard was a superstar, without a doubt – but may be after being away from the game for 1 season – he might be counted as star player as for now.
Shaq agreed with the host’s assessment and pointed out that she answered her own question. There might be host of player left out of the list like current 2 time MVP Nikola Jokic – who missed out of NBA Championship. Also Celtics made to the 2022 NBA Finals with help of Jayson Tatum, who misses the cut. LeBron’s 2016 Championship buddy and former rookie of the year Kyrie Irving also couldn’t get the Superstar tag.
May be athlete’s recent forms, on court behaviors, and ability to win title with impactful performances allowed just 4 players to make to the Superstar status for Shaquille O’Neal. Stephen Curry, LeBron James won 4 titles each, While Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo were vital part of their teams’ championship runs in recent years.
Although Kawhi, who got special mention in the discussion, has a terrific resume and one might certainly categorize him as a superstar, the fact that he has been out for a season might have lessen his influence on the list. But if we get to see healthy Kawhi for the 2022-23 NBA season, he will have a chance at reclaiming his position as a superstar.