Shaquille O'Neal picks on another NBA center, past or present.
Shaquille O'Neal never shied away from a comparison, so long as his place on Mount Rushmore of NBA Centers is universalized. Upon entering the league, Shaquille grappled with a reticent NBA center named David Robinson, whom some would argue gained the upper-hand of their duels in the early 90s. With the "three-peat" Lakers, O'Neal resorted to mockery on and off the court, his primary target Sacramento Kings' center and former Laker Vlade Divas.
And we can't forget the nonsense that transpired (for years) after Dwight Howard apologetically assumed his "Superman" mantle. Even role players like JaVale McGee have been castigated by the disgruntled center. Shaq's final years as a rotational player in the NBA were marred by slip-ups and injury, but he rebounded quickly in his retirement, joining the Inside The NBA panel on TNT broadcasts. It's a platform he likens to actually going toe-to-toe with current NBA centers.
But it wasn't during an episode of Shaqtin' The Fool that he stoked his latest feud. Just yesterday, TMZ spotted Shaq at the Fun House Super Bowl party in Atlanta, forcing the issue of "NBA center-pettiness" before he could broach it himself. On the agenda: Rudy Gobert crying after finding out about his NBA All-Star snub.
Before we get into it, it's worth nothing, Rudy Gobert is actually quite deserving of an All-Star nod this year - but in Shaq's estimation "crying" is no way for an NBA strongman to conduct himself. "Maybe he was sad he didn't make it, but it happens like that sometimes," he told TMZ Sports. "I remember when I made it 15 years in a row and the last year I didn't make it. I guess I wasn't good enough. But, it's not something you cry about."
But Shaq wasn't there. "We live in a tough sport. Guys like Draymond, he knows what he's doing. He's trying to get in (Gobert's) head. It's psychological," he continued. "But there is no crying in basketball Rudy. Man up."
Shaq's nod to Draymond Green comes on the heels of the Warriors' forward mocking Gobert along the same lines. Shaq and Draymond share many traits if you don't account for the incredible chasm of talent that stands between them. Otherwise, Dray and Shaq are the generational applicants of bullying in sports - but as they'd likely say themselves - a little ribbing comes with the territory. NBA players are in essence glorified Jocks, are they not?