PHILADELPHIA (CBS)- Sixers center Joel Embiid and Inside the NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal have had their disagreements over the years. O’Neal famously called the Sixers center “soft” last year after a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. But, he has complimented Embiid several times this season and the most recent one came in an appearance on Showtime Basketball’s “All The Smoke” podcast with Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes.

In the episode, Barnes and Jackson asked Shaq for a top five list of the best current players in the NBA. After going through the names you’d expect, Shaq listed Embiid rounding out the group.

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“I hate doing this because they’re all guards too. Steph, Dame, KD, LeBron, and I’m going to go with Joel.”

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The Sixers center has certainly played like one of the best players in the league this season, putting himself in the MVP conversation by averaging a career-high 29 points per game to go with 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 blocks per night. And he’s done all of that while helping lead the Sixers to the best record in the East with an opportunity to lock down home court advantage in the coming weeks.

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The Sixers are on the road tonight to face the Houston Rockets looking to extend their winning streak to six games.