Unless Shaquille O’Neal decides to do what boxers used to do, or what Brett Favre continues to do (heard anything yet), he will stay retired. So naturally there is talk about him being in the Hall of Fame. Let me look at the positives and negatives.
He was a big, physical, dominant force in the paint, almost unstoppable.
He won 4 NBA titles, 3 with the Lakers and 1 with the Heat.
He was an extremely marketable character with more nicknames then Brent Musberger could think of.
He was a good teammate (just don’t tell Kobe).
Shaq was a big man with athleticism. That combo makes you dominant. I never thought of him as a hard worker with an attitude of wanting to get better. When he was with the Lakers, it was difficult for him to keep his weight down. And if the NBA officials actually called fouls the way they should, he would have picked up at least 3 offensive fouls a game every time he dipped his shoulder into the chest of his defender. O’Neal was also an offensive liability at the end of games because of his poor free throw shooting. Again, I look at his lack of work ethic to improve on a skill that would haunt his entire career, especially considering how many times he would get fouled. Karl Malone improved his free throw shooting because of that fact and became such a dominant threat in the post. He did improve his arsenal of offensive moves around the basket. But by and large, he would dip his shoulder, bulldoze through the defender, and dunk.
Hall of Fame………no, I don’t think so.