Dwight Howard stirs pot with list of all-time Lakers defenders that has Anthony Davis at No. 1 and Shaquille O’Neal at No. 10

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard recently stirred the pot by posting a list on Instagram of all-time Lakers defenders that lists Anthony Davis as No. 1 and Shaquille O’Neal as No. 10.


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O’Neal was chosen by the Orlando Magic with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft and spent eight of his 19 seasons in the NBA as a member of the storied Lakers franchise. He averaged 27.0 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.5 blocks per game across 514 total regular-season games played with Los Angeles.

Arguably O’Neal’s best season with the Lakers from a defensive standpoint came during the 1999-00 season. He averaged 29.7 points, 13.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and a whopping 3.0 blocks per game in 79 appearances with the team during the regular season.

The 7-foot-1 big man’s two-way contributions translated into a great deal of success for the 1999-00 iteration of the Lakers. They finished the regular season with a fantastic 67-15 record and managed to defeat Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers in six games in the 2000 NBA Finals to win the title.

Meanwhile, Davis was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and has spent the last four seasons as a member of the Lakers. He averaged 25.9 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.0 blocks per game in 56 games with Los Angeles during the 2022-23 regular season. The big man also converted a career-high 56.3 percent of his field-goal attempts during the regular season.

For as great as Davis performed during the 2022-23 regular season, he arguably raised his level of play during the 2023 playoffs, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. He averaged an incredible 4.3 blocks per game in the Lakers’ first-round series against Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and the Memphis Grizzlies. The Lakers went on to eliminate the Grizzlies in six games.

It’s certainly debatable as to whether the list should have Davis at No. 1 and O’Neal at No. 10. After all, Davis has never averaged more than 2.3 blocks per game in any of his four seasons with the Lakers, while O’Neal averaged 3.0 blocks per game in the 1999-00 season.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.