Shaquille O’Neal Gets Real On Michael Jordan’s Inflated Stats

Shaquille O’Neal addresses the controversy over Michael Jordan’s inflated stats.

Shaquille O’Neal recently shared his thoughts on the controversy surrounding Michael Jordan’s statistics, particularly the claims that Jordan’s stats were inflated by home statisticians. Shaq acknowledged that home statisticians might have favored Jordan and other all-time greats, but he believes that these historical details should be left alone and the focus should remain on the present.

“I knew they were. I sit there and watched John Stockton’s last game where he threw it to a guy, guy took 10 dribbles and two steps, and he was able to break the assists record. Do they give extra love at home? They do. But it doesn’t matter.”

“You want to impress me? Go back and change it. If you go back and change the Jordan stats, let’s go back and all the guys, Havlicek and Pete Maravich all the guys that shot behind the three. Let’s give them an extra point for all the deep range shots they got if you want to do that. Let it go. It’s unconfirmed.” (30:20)

Shaq drew a parallel with John Stockton’s assist record, noting that despite potential favoritism from home scorekeepers, Stockton’s record remains documented and should be respected. Shaq expressed frustration with the ongoing drama, suggesting that fans should move on from these unconfirmed allegations.

The controversy about Jordan’s stats arose after Yahoo Sports’ Tom Haberstroh reported discrepancies in Jordan’s steals and blocks during his 1988 Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) season.

The report highlighted that Jordan had significantly more steals and blocks in home games compared to away games, leading to allegations of inflated statistics. This sparked a debate among fans and analysts about the legitimacy of Jordan’s accolades.

Despite the controversy, Shaq remains firm that past achievements should be respected and not constantly questioned. He believes that altering historical records would not only be impractical but also unnecessary. Shaq emphasized that unless someone is willing to officially challenge and change the records, such discussions are pointless.

Shaq also mentioned that even if Haberstroh’s research is accurate, it would not change the fact that Jordan’s accomplishments are already enshrined in history. He argued that focusing on such controversies detracts from appreciating the greatness of players like Jordan and Stockton.

Moreover, Shaq’s stance is that statistical inflation, if it occurred, was not unique to Jordan but was a broader issue affecting many players. He called for fans and analysts to appreciate the achievements of NBA legends without constantly questioning their validity.

Shaquille O’Neal believes that while there may have been some favoritism in recording statistics, the past should be left as it is. He urges fans to focus on the present and future of the game rather than dwelling on unconfirmed historical allegations. Shaq’s perspective highlights the importance of respecting documented achievements and the legacy of NBA greats like Michael Jordan and John Stockton.

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