Survey says: Shaquille O’Neal is NBA’s second-best player of all time

The former NBA big man remains an immensely popular figure, given what took place on “Family Feud” on Monday night. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

By and large, pundits and fans generally agree on one thing about the NBA: Michael Jordan is the best player of all time.

But what about after his Airness? Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are among the names often discussed regarding the league’s top players in history.

Tipped off by our friends over at Sports Illustrated, Monday’s telecast of the longtime-running game show “Family Feud” made it apparent that perhaps not many people are watching the game, let alone familiar with the players that would normally formulate the “who’s the greatest debates.”

The full question posed Monday night: If Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all-time, who is second best? Survey says …

Survey says … (Photo by @jeskeets via Instagram)

We should take into consideration that this is simply a survey by the show, which relocated to Atlanta from the West Coast in 2010. That last fact is crucial, given that the players listed are very Lakers-centric. Still, the answers were a bit alarming. According to a 2008 Wall Street Journal article, the game show conducts its surveys by a randomized digit-dialing system to ensure a national sampling.

Coming in after MJ was Shaquille O’Neal … then Kobe Bryant … then Magic Johnson … then Larry Bird … and finally LeBron James.

Russell … Chamberlain … um, who are they again? Robertson and West, please. It garnered a short discussion on as well.

A shout-out to @Jeskeets for managing to get the nifty screen grab to illustrate just how out of touch the Feud’s viewers are when it comes to basketball.



John arrived at The Post in 2012 with a history of multitasking (writing, designing, editing). After initially splitting his time between News and Sports, John spends his workweek in Sports these days, contributing to the print side and the night desk.



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Michael Lee · January 14, 2014

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