One of the stories that won't die is Shaquille O'Neal's seemingly claiming that Brook Lopez is better than Dwight Howard. Yes, we fully understand that we are helping to douse the flames here a bit... But wouldn't you want to know if an opposing player weighed in?
A lot of people have weighed in on this debate. But Tyson Chandler, the starting center of the New York Knicks, has an opinion worth noting.
This might serve as some motivation for Brook Lopez... Especially since the two will square off on opening night (November 1).
Aside from the fact that Chandler plays for the New York Knicks, Chandler is the NBA's reigning Defensive Player of the Year and will have to match up against Brook Lopez four times this season. Chandler has fared well against Dwight Howard. In 20 career match ups, Chandler's team has beaten Howard' 12 times. Last season, they went head-to-head three times, and although the Orlando Magic bested Chandler's Knicks in two of the contests, Chandler helped hold Dwight to a TOTAL of 28 points and 23 rebounds. Chandler is one of the league's best defensive centers, so his opinion holds some weight.
"...Chandler also took issue with Shaquille O’Neal, who on TNT named the NBA’s two best centers as Brook Lopez and Andrew Bynum. Dwight Howard wasn’t the only one slighted.
Chandler, reigning Defensive Player of the Year, called Shaq’s rankings 'comical.'
'I was watching SportsCenter this morning, eating breakfast in the team lounge, and was laughing at the whole thing,'’ Chandler said. 'I honestly think it’s comical. I don’t care about rankings.'"
First and foremost, I have to say that I know Tyson Chandler personally and I can say that he is one of the nicest and classiest athletes I've ever known. But that said, he's a fierce competitor and will literally do anything to protect his team... He'll even stir the pot every once in a while.
So upon further inspection, it seems that Chandler's assertion is that O'Neal's entire ranking is "comical," in part because Chandler himself wasn't named. But I'm willing to bet that that's not the case. There's no way that Chandler thinks he better than Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum, is there?
In other words, would Chandler have said the rankings are "comical" if O'Neal said that Bynum and Howard were the NBA's top two centers? Of course not, because that's a statement that anyone would agree with.
If you ask me, Chandler clearly has an issue with O'Neal referring to Lopez as one of the top two centers in the league, and he took a shot at him here.