Beef among players in the NBA isn’t anything new. Shaquille O’Neal having beef among players in the NBA also isn’t anything new. But, Shaq’s been retired for six years, has his number retired in the STAPLES Center rafters, and is a Hall of Famer. He also is one of the most popular sports analysts on television.
So, it’s sort of odd that he would have beef with a current player. It’s even odder for him to have beef with an entire team, but that’s exactly what happened recently when O’Neal decided to basically take on the entire Golden State Warriors.
These Days Seem Over…
If you haven’t been following, the Warriors reportedly contacted TNT (the network that airs Inside the NBA and NBA on TNT) over the way Shaq was speaking about JaVale McGee. O’Neal didn’t back down from his criticism and doubled-down, causing a few of McGee’s teammates – including Durant – to come to the center’s defense.
Shaq eventually backed down because his mom told him “to stop the silliness. Leave him alone,” so O’Neal stopped mentioning McGee on his “Shaqtin’ A Fool” segment.
But then he took a parting shot at KD to Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver:
“KD doesn’t have G–14 Classification,” O’Neal told The Crossover, referring to his oft-mentioned “unwritten” designation that applies to players who have won titles. “He can’t talk to me like that. He may think he does, and he’s sticking up for his teammate. He’s a great player, but you ain’t in the club yet. You’re on the outside in line with [Charles] Barkley, [Karl] Malone and [John] Stockton. You’re not in the club with me and those [championship] guys. That’s why I tweeted him, ‘Mind ya business.’”
“LeBron has a lot of clearance because he’s won championships,” O’Neal said. “But when a guy who hasn’t won championships makes comments, you say, ‘How do you know?’ … [Durant] was just trying to stick up for his teammate. If you read into what he said, none of his s— made sense. Well, actually some of it made sense. He said I was strong and I bullied people. Of course, that’s exactly what I did. I’m not going to go shoot jumpers and do all of that.”