Very surprised that the Hakeem romanticism has him being ranked ahead of Shaq. Shaq had a higher peak but slightly worse longevity, I'd pick Shaq as the better player tbh.
I'm not bothered by the Hakeem v Shaq debate. I think there is a legit argument for either player. Shaq did seem to have a slightly higher peak, though. I also don't think it's entirely fair to hold their 1 finals matchup against Shaq, either. Shaq was superb in those finals, so was Hakeem. Hakeem had the better, more experienced team, and was a more experienced player than Shaq was at that time. I think LA Shaq would have been too much for Hakeem to handle, but it's not a given by any stretch. Hakeem was an amazing player.
What does raise my ire is seeing posters attempt to claim Shaq would just be some average dude today. Nobody who watched Shaq play would say that with a straight face.
Houston was obviously more experienced, but I don't know if I'd say they were better. That was the better of the 2 teams as they added Drexler, but you can argue that those are 2 of the worst championship teams in history, especially the first team. Even that second team was Hakeem, Clyde, and a bunch of scrubs. Robert Horry, Mario Elie, and Kenny Smith were the other 3 starters (solid role players but no one is going to claim they were uber talented). 2nd year Sam Cassell, Chucky Brown, and Charles Jones are the other 3 players to play in every game and then Pete Chilcutt played in 3 games though only 3 minutes total. Even with the 2 HOFers, that is an awful team. The Magic were a much deeper and talented team. They had not only Shaq and Penny, but also Horace Grant, Brian Shaw, Nick Anderson, Dennis Scott. Plus, Anthony Bowie. Jeff Turner also played in all 4 games with Donald Royal, in just 1.
Penny outperformed Clyde so there wasn't even an advantage to the Rockets in that match-up. The games were all relatively close and the real difference in the end was Hakeem was just better than Shaq overall. Shaq's crappy foul shooting, in particular, really hurt the Magic down the stretch of those close games.