During a recent interview with Rachel Whittaker from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Shaquille O’Neal, was asked his thoughts on Dwight Howard‘s trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. The team, where Shaq himself, built his legacy.
Shaq said the following about Howard:
What was your reaction to Dwight Howard being traded to the Lakers?
“I don’t have a reaction. You have to care to have a reaction. I’ve got businesses to run. I always tell people that in order to step in my shoes you have big shoes to fill. For him, he’s going to have to at least win three to get people’s respect.”
How do you feel about a big center like Howard following your same path to the Lakers following four years with the Magic?
“I’m flattered, if you want to put it like that.”
Now for some analysis:
Shaq wears a size 22 (some say 23) so those are some pretty big shoes to fill. Not 100% sure on what size feet Dwight has but he might need to double up on his socks to fill those. Also, Shaq’s currently the best center of all time. It will take much more than big shoes, if Howard wants to take that title away from Shaq.
It’s not really fair to say what Shaq said about Howard. Los Angeles wasn’t his first choice. It’s not even on the right coast. It was no secret that Howard wanted the Brooklyn Nets or nothing. He accepted the Lakers as the best possible solution, he didn’t want them. There were even rumours that Howard would sit out the entire season if he wasn’t traded to the Nets.
Howard isn’t emulating Shaq’s path by choice. The Lakers just really like All Star centers from the Orlando Magic. Howard couldn’t change that fate or the willingness of the Lakers to disregard the concept of luxury tax.
It’s pretty well documented that Shaq isn’t a big fan of Howard. Maybe it’s because Howard ripped off the Superman nickname, which in all fairness, they both “borrowed,” from Superman.
Second, Howard does do a pretty good Shaq impersonation:
However, his Charles Barkley is a little better:
Shaq’s a sports analyst. TNT pays him a lot of money to comment on and react to situations like Howard’s trade. That’s his business. It was one of the biggest sports stories of the entire year.
In closing, check out this really well done video, “Los Angeles Lakers: From Shaq to Dwight.” It will pumped you up for the Lakers homeopener.