The Superman Debate

Posted: March 6, 2009 by Michael Leess in POP - pop culture
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Watch out for Shaqs heat vision!

Watch out for Shaq's "Heat" vision!

Sorry to disappoint any closet Dean Cain lovers (they must exist somewhere, I’m sure of it), but I’m not talking about the men who’ve played the comic book hero.  I’m talking about NBA stars Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard.  Both men have taken on the “Superman” moniker, but I’ve come to the decision that, like Highlander, there can be only one.  I’ll make each behemoth’s case for the distinction of the “superer” man and pick a winner.  That’s the most democratic way to do it…right?

Shaq and Dwight are both basketball “big men,” 7-foot, 300-ish-pound freaks of nature who patrol the area of the court closest to the basket looking for blocks and rebounds on defense, and monster slam dunks and other high-percentage shots on offense.  They use their superhuman strength to steamroll through defenders and keep other players away from loose balls.  They ARE just like the comic book Superman…except for the whole sustained flight thing.  But I’m sure Shaq and Dwight have learned to live with just ice breath and X-ray vision.

Both players were selected to play in the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix, although Dwight has the slight edge as far as statistics go.  Then again, “Shaqtus” (like “cactus”…apparently he picked this nickname himself) won the All-Star MVP along with his former Lakers teammate and longtime verbal punching bag, Kobe Bryant.

Dwight’s Orlando Magic stand atop the Eastern Conference’s Southeast division with a record of 44-16, as “The Big Aristotle” (yeah, he likes this one, too) and his Phoenix Suns flounder at 31-28.  Both teams are on pace to make the playoffs.

A little kryptonite for Dwight: Shaq is a 15-time All-Star, and he owns four NBA Championship rings – one for each time I’ve seen the movie Kazaam.  Rent it.  You won’t be disappointed.  And, although the general consensus has been that he’s in the twilight of his career, the 36-year-old “Big Baryshnikov” (don’t even ask me where this one came from) has reemerged as a dominant force lately, even scoring 70 points over two games last week.

However, the slight edge for the title title goes to……

Dwight Howard, because he’s the only one of the two that has gotten into costume:  For the 2008 Slam Dunk Contest, Howard ripped off his warm-ups to reveal a form-fitting Superman logo shirt and flowing red cape. He proceeded to win the contest in high-flying fashion.  Plus, I think I’ve made it clear that Shaquille O’Neal has enough nicknames as it is.

~Michael Leess

  1. Shawn says:

    Shaq has the Superman tat.

    Dwight will only enter the discussion when he gets the ink too.

  2. Liam says:

    You can add The Big Flopper to his list of aliases

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