Originally written on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 11/12/14

There is a fine line between being a clown and being a clown that performs at your highest level when the lights are the brightest. Shaq was a clown, it annoyed Kobe Bryant and others, but when push came to shove, you could count on Shaq putting on dominant performance when it mattered the most. Do you have that confidence in Dwight Howard? “He’s too nice,” O’Neal said Tuesday on “The Max and Marcellus Show” on ESPNLA 710. “I’m a connoisseur of giggling and playing and all that and making you laugh and playing with the fans, but when I cross that line, I’m ready to tear your face off. “I just know when it comes to pressure, you either run away from it or you handle it,” O’Neal said. “The first day I got to the Forum, the great Jerry West said, ‘Son, look up.’ And I saw Kareem’s jersey, Wilt’s jersey and all the great jerseys. He said, ‘Shaq, I know you do movies, I know you do albums, but you need to get at least two or three championships while you’re here or this move will be considered a bust.’ So for me, it was a lot of pressure but I like the pressure. Especially when you see other greats say that he’s like a Wilt or he’s like a Kareem. I knew I had to step up. “He should have known all of this when he signed with L.A. He should have known what he was getting into. My advice to him is to look pressure in the face and give it the one-two combination and knock it out.” The fact that he’s the so-called best big man in the league and doesn’t get doubled every time, that’s telling me something. That’s telling me teams respect him but they don’t fear him. I would rather be feared than respected.” Shaq has said all of this before, but one thing I have learned is you can’t change someone’s DNA. Dwight Howard is very good center, but he will never go down as one of the greatest centers of all-time. We have seen the best of Dwight and the version going forward will be good, better than pretty much every other Center in the NBA, but not great. Expect Howard to run away from the Lakers, because as Shaq stated, he can’t handle the pressure of LA or being compare to the great Lakers centers of the past.

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