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The Big Miss? Shaq admits free throws hurt legacy

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08:05 AM ET 11.01 | Shaquille O'Neal may fifth all-time in scoring with just over 28,000 points, but he feels he left quite a few on the table -- or, more specifically, at the line. [Trailing Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,] he knows why he remains short of 30,000 points despite being one of the most prolific scorers of any generation. ... "I missed 5,000 free throws; give me 2,500 of those and now I'm at 30,000. I missed 200 games, and averaging 25 a game, so there goes another 5,000 points. I'd be like third if I wasn't [fooling] around."

The Boston Globe

Shaquille O'Neal, Getty Images Shaquille O'Neal, Getty Images
November 1, 2010  08:17 AM ET

Has there been a worse free throw shooter in the history of the NBA?

November 1, 2010  08:28 AM ET

You mean if you took your fitness and practice seriously?

November 1, 2010  08:33 AM ET

How?? He will go down as one of the greatest centers of all times.

November 1, 2010  08:39 AM ET

I think Shaq's had the closest thing to a perfect career and he did it his way so he should be happy and proud for his legacy. At the end of the day is some NBA points worth all the ****, TWISM, the movie and all the fun he had while acting a fool? For his size and IQ he overachieved. That's greatness. No need to worrry Shaq, your legacy is intact like a womb.

Comment #5 has been removed
November 1, 2010  08:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Yes

i wanna say Ben Wallace...

Comment #7 has been removed
November 1, 2010  08:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

You can act like a clown all you want.......you can have all the women you want......but if if it interferes with your performance, ts a problem.Shaq still goes down as an EASY top 15-20 player of all time,maybe higher.But if he was a little more into it...he could've been higher.Clearly he's starting to realize and regret

the blossoming of maturity...at long last. He's a top 5 all-time center by the way (imagined if he tried all the time...simply amazing)

November 1, 2010  08:53 AM ET

its actually painful to watch him at the line, but he's making up for it...(p.s. he had the best halloween costume - "shatuita")!

November 1, 2010  09:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

You can act like a clown all you want.......you can have all the women you want......but if if it interferes with your performance, ts a problem.Shaq still goes down as an EASY top 15-20 player of all time,maybe higher.But if he was a little more into it...he could've been higher.Clearly he's starting to realize and regret

You can't possibly have fun if you do everything right.

November 1, 2010  09:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Has there been a worse free throw shooter in the history of the NBA?

Wilt "the 100 point scorin" stilt chamberlain was terrible at the free throw line simply put...

November 1, 2010  09:38 AM ET

It's never too late, Bro.

November 1, 2010  10:00 AM ET

I guess he's not as dumb as he looks! I never for the life of me understood why he wasn't obsessed with becoming a great free throw shooter. Just imagine what his ppg average would be. He would have been hard to argue against for top 3 all time. With the 'kryptonite' of free-throws, he marginalized his career. I like Saquille, but he always seemed to have a inflated sense of himself, and I think that is ultimately why he never "got better", free-throws being the biggest indicator of that.

November 1, 2010  10:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Wilt "the 100 point scorin" stilt chamberlain was terrible at the free throw line simply put...

"The Stilt" was hurt by that as well where legacy is concerned. He is almost never mentioned as the G.O.A.T. and with his accomplishments, he easily would have been if he didn't have that one weakness. There would have at a minimum been an arguable point for him as #1.

November 1, 2010  10:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Has there been a worse free throw shooter in the history of the NBA?

Chris Dudley or Big Ben....

November 1, 2010  10:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#20):

"The Stilt" was hurt by that as well where legacy is concerned. He is almost never mentioned as the G.O.A.T. and with his accomplishments, he easily would have been if he didn't have that one weakness. There would have at a minimum been an arguable point for him as #1.

Well that and the fact he was horrible in big games and only ended up with one ring...

November 1, 2010  10:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

It's never too late, Bro.

Aaaahh....yes it is

November 1, 2010  10:26 AM ET

I thought he'd be more pissed about only having 4 rings. As a Celtics fan I say this: I think he was just as self absorbed as Kobe and had just as much to do with the breakup. If properly motivated there may have never been a Spurs dynasty, it could have just been Lakers----->

November 1, 2010  10:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#20):

"The Stilt" was hurt by that as well where legacy is concerned. He is almost never mentioned as the G.O.A.T. and with his accomplishments, he easily would have been if he didn't have that one weakness. There would have at a minimum been an arguable point for him as #1.

He only cared about stats...like when assists were recorded he tried to pass the ball so much and would scream at teammates if they missed a bucket on one of his passes. Big games were not his "thing"

 
November 1, 2010  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#20):

"The Stilt" was hurt by that as well where legacy is concerned. He is almost never mentioned as the G.O.A.T. and with his accomplishments, he easily would have been if he didn't have that one weakness. There would have at a minimum been an arguable point for him as #1.

True Point...

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