There are only two players that Shaquille O’Neal and his co-host Charles Barkley truly love: Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley.
It’s important to note that Shaq makes fun of everyone. It’s the entire point of the TNT halftime show. However, the season hasn’t even started yet and Shaq has already targeted Dwight Howard with some unjustified comments.
The halftime show serves a single purpose: To allow Shaq and Barkley to entertain themselves by criticizing the NBA roster.
If the game even gets mentioned, then it’s a successful night.
Howard has been open with the fact that he idolized Shaq. After Shaq cited Andrew Bynum and Brook Lopez as his picks for “the best centers in the league,” Howard finally fought back via the Los Angeles Lakers official website:
“I can’t tell you why he’s said a lot of discouraging things,” Howard said to me. “I wish he wouldn’t say it because he’s one of the few guys that we all look up to.”
“He hated the fact when he played that the older guys were talking about him and how he played and now he’s doing the exact same thing,” Howard said. “Just let it go. There’s no sense for him to be talking trash to me. He did his thing in the league. He’s one of the most dominant players to ever play the game. Just sit back and relax. You did your thing. Your time is up. So, I don’t really care. I don’t really care. He can say whatever he wants to say.”
“I have respect for him and what he did for basketball. That’s it. Like I said, he’s already did his thing. He played. When my time is up, there’s going to be somebody else who can do everything I can do, and probably do it better. Instead of me talking about him, I’ll do my job to try to help him to get to where I’m at. I think that’s what guys who have done it before us should do.”
It’s pretty obvious that Shaq chose Brooklyn Nets center because the Nets signed him instead of Howard. In addition, Bynum was traded for Howard.
Shaq didn’t even know Lopez’s first name. He referred to him as brother Robin Lopez before being corrected.
Out of all the centers in the league, the odds don’t favor the possibility that Shaq just happens to legitimately feel they’re the best.
Shaq has never liked players that rival his skill and talent level. He dislikes it even more when they rival his celebrity status. Howard is all up in LA hanging out with Ellen Degeneres and being the Lakers new Superman.
Howard has legitimately followed in Shaq’s footsteps, all the way from Orlando to LA.
This isn’t the first time this has caused a rivalry. In fact, it caused one of the greatest rivalries in basketball history: Shaq vs. Kobe.
Kobe Bryant recently called the 2012-2013 Lakers roster the most talented Lakers team ever. That’s a shot. A shot aimed right at Shaq. Whether Kobe meant it to be or not.
If Shaq and Kobe could have gotten along as teammates, it would have greatly benefited the careers of both players. Shaq must know that the Lakers are beautifully positioned to win a championship.
Shaq didn’t leave the Lakers by choice. Although he demanded a trade, Kobe indirectly forced him out.
Kobe and Howard shared a single goal from day one. A championship. Howard wants one, Kobe wants six.
While, Shaq and Kobe often lost focus. They had issues from day one. Shaq hazed Byrant during his rookie reason. He was already established when Bryant was drafted out of high school. Shaq was an All-Star while Bryant was developing. It must not have felt good to watch Kobe thrive while he went through multiple teams trying to prove he could win championships without him.
Kobe and Howard are set to accomplish a lot together. Shaq has reason to be jealous.