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#pounditThursday, September 16, 2021

Shaq takes shot at Rudy Gobert over big extension

Shaquille O'Neal

Rudy Gobert just received the biggest extension for any center in NBA history, and Shaquille O’Neal clearly has some thoughts on it.

Appearing this week on “All Things Covered,” O’Neal took a shot at Gobert over the recent $205 million extension he received from the Utah Jazz.

“I’m not gonna hate, but this should be an inspiration to all the little kids out there,” said O’Neal of Gobert’s extension. “You average 11 points in the NBA, you can get $200 million.

“The silver lining is he is a great agent, and I’m happy for him and his family,” O’Neal added about Gobert. “With the new rules, you have a pot of money, and you have to spend that money. I’m happy for him, but this is a moment for a lot of kids who think they can’t make it.”

Gobert, 28, is indeed a career 11.8-point-per-game scorer. But he is also a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and may be the game’s best center on that end of the floor today. Additionally, the Jazz are a small-market team, meaning that they essentially have to overpay to keep their stars as they are not much of a destination for marquee free agents (as O’Neal alluded to).

As for O’Neal, a four-time NBA champion and career 23.7-point-per-game scorer, the most he ever made in a single season was $27.7 million. That is in contrast with the $41 million average annual value Gobert will be making over the life of his new five-year extension. Of course, it is a very different economic landscape in the NBA now. But Gobert is far from the only big man in today’s game that O’Neal has clowned.

H/T AHN Fire Digital

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