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#pounditTuesday, July 23, 2024

Shaq makes critical comments about Chet Holmgren

Shaq looks on

Nov 22, 2017; Paradise Island, BAHAMAS; NBA former player Shaquille O’Neal during the first half of the game between the North Carolina State Wolfpack and Arizona Wildcats in the 2017 Battle 4 Atlantis in Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Shaquille O’Neal appears to have found a new young big man to target.

The retired Basketball Hall of Famer O’Neal went viral this week for his critical comments about Oklahoma City Thunder center Chet Holmgren. O’Neal made the remarks on an episode of his “The Big Podcast with Shaq.”

“Y’all throwin’ around words that we had to work hard for,” said O’Neal, taking an exception to a co-host’s description of Holmgren as ‘phenomenal.’ “‘Phenomenal’ isn’t the right word. He’s good, but don’t be going ‘promising’ and ‘great’ and ‘future Hall of Famer’ … Y’all can’t be giving these people things who ain’t put in no work.”

You can see the full clip of O’Neal’s comments here.

This is just par for the course for O’Neal, who hates on almost every young NBA star and tries to spin it as him inspiring them to be great. But taking issue with the characterization of Holmgren as “phenomenal” is a whole different level of gatekeeping, even for O’Neal.

The 21-year-old Holmgren, who is barely even two months into his first professional season, has been earning it with his play. He is averaging 17.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game, is hitting threes efficiently, is holding up well against NBA size, and is a major reason why the Thunder are an impressive 20-9 (along with the all-around play of teammates like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams).

But none of that is enough to prevent Holmgren from becoming the latest target of the guy from “Kazaam.” Only time will tell if Holmgren handles O’Neal’s barbs with class like this other star NBA center has done before.

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