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#pounditMonday, October 25, 2021


Shaq has strange criticism of Joel Embiid

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal continues to be one tough guy to please.

The retired big man great appeared this week on Sports Illustrated’s “The Crossover” and offered a strange criticism of Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid. O’Neal said that Embiid was not a dominant low-post presence.

“I wouldn’t use the D-word,” said O’Neal of Embiid’s play. “He’s pretty good, really good, pretty good, but I would not use the D-word.”

It is definitely hard to describe the All-NBA center Embiid as anything but dominant, especially after the season that he just had. He scored 28.5 points per game on 51.3 percent from the field (both career-highs) with nearly half of his attempts coming from inside ten feet. In fact, Embiid might have been the MVP if a knee injury had not knocked him for several weeks in March.

Granted, we know by now to take O’Neal’s words with a grain of salt as he is notoriously harsh on today’s stars, especially the big men. Embiid probably won’t mind either seeing as he once thanked O’Neal for criticizing him.

Shaq blasts Kyrie Irving, says Nets should trade him

Shaquille O'Neal

Kyrie Irving is in danger of having to miss every home game this season if he refuses to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and Shaquille O’Neal thinks the Brooklyn Nets should move on from the star point guard if the situation doesn’t change.

During an appearance on CBS Sports Radio’s “Tiki and Tierney” Show this week, Shaq was asked how he would feel about Irving’s vaccination status if he were a player on the Nets. The Hall of Famer said he would march up to the front office and demand that Irving be traded.

“I would go upstairs and say get him up outta here,” Shaq said. “We can win with a two-punch and a great shooter and some rebounders, like we’ve got. Get his a– up out of here. Now every day I’m gonna have to answer questions about him and what he’s doing … get his a– up outta here.”

You can hear O’Neal’s comments below at around the 1:42 mark:

Shaq also criticized other players who have not gotten vaccinated in an interview with USA Today’s Mark Medina. The four-time NBA champion said those players should fall in line for their teammates.

“In this line of work, sometimes you have to be selfless,” Shaq said. “The day I decided it wasn’t all about me and it’s about us is the day I started winning and really started dominating.”

The NBA issued a fairly significant warning to unvaccinated players on Tuesday. As of now, players who are not vaccinated will not be able to play in any games that are held in New York City and San Francisco. That could present a major problem for Irving, Golden State Warriors star Andrew Wiggins, and any other unvaccinated player.

There has been no indication that the Nets want to trade Irving. However, even if they did, his value may not even be very high around the NBA.

JaVale McGee has another funny diss of Shaq

JaVale McGee

It may not be as savage as it was in years past, but JaVale McGee is going after his longtime adversary once again.

The new Phoenix Suns center appeared this week on “Club Shay Shay” with Shannon Sharpe. During the episode, Sharpe asked McGee to name his top three NBA rappers of all-time. McGee picked Damian Lillard, Allen Iverson, and Lou Williams. When Sharpe responded incredulously that McGee had left Shaquille O’Neal off his list, McGee got in a funny diss.

“He went platinum off fame,” he replied. “I wouldn’t say, like, lyrics.”

McGee does have a point. O’Neal released four albums in the 1990s, one of which was certified platinum by the RIAA and another that was certified gold. But O’Neal’s elite ability to market himself was likely a much bigger reason for their success than his bars alone. McGee is also well-educated on the topic, having actually been nominated for a Grammy last year.

The two big men obviously a very long history of beef, dating back to when O’Neal used to clown McGee on his “Shaqtin’ A Fool” segment for making boneheaded plays. Their feud once got so heated that their mothers had to get involved to put an end to it. Hopefully, O’Neal does not take McGee’s shot at his lyrical prowess as personally this time.

Shaq takes hilarious shot at Nets

Shaquille O'Neal

The Brooklyn Nets are the target of a lot of ire these days, but Shaquille O’Neal is clowning them for something that happened back when they still played in New Jersey.

The retired center great appeared this week on “Scoop B Radio” with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson. During his appearance, O’Neal roasted the Nets for putting up minimal resistance against him in the 2002 NBA Finals.

“It was boring,” said O’Neal of facing the Nets in the Finals that year. “I actually got mad when we were playing in Jersey. You think [then-Nets center] Todd MacCulloch is going to stop me at the crib in Jersey in front of my grandma and grandpa? S–t! No. Stop it.”

O’Neal, who was born in Newark, N.J., played for the Los Angeles Lakers at the time. Their Finals series against the Nets was one of the most lopsided in NBA history. The Lakers won it in a sweep, and O’Neal put up some all-time numbers of 36.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game. The Diesel absolutely ragdolled the Nets’ center rotation of MacCulloch, Jason Collins, and Aaron Williams, notably fouling out Williams in just seven minutes of play during Game 3.

Besides the relocation, the Nets obviously look a lot different nowadays. But O’Neal just can’t stop ridiculing their players, be they past or present.

Shaq explains why he is wary of cryptocurrency

Shaquille O'Neal

Despite the growing tidal wave of pro sports figures who are getting into cryptocurrency, Shaquille O’Neal does not plan to be one of them just yet.

The retired NBA legend explained to CNBC in a recent interview why he is personally wary of investing in cryptocurrency.

“I don’t understand it,” said O’Neal. “So I will probably stay away from it until I get a full understanding of what it is.

“Every time somebody tells me one of those great [cryptocurrency success] stories, I like it,” the four-time NBA champion added. “But from my experience, it is too good to be true.”

Cryptocurrency and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have recently exploded in popularity with the sports world. In the NBA in particular, both teams as well as individual players have begun embracing them.

As for O’Neal, he is known for the savvy investments that he has made since retiring from the NBA in 2011. O’Neal owns several restaurants (including Five Guys, Auntie Anne’s and Papa John’s franchises) as well a number of gyms and car washes. He is also involved with e-sports organizations and even used to be a minority owner for the Sacramento Kings. It sounds like O’Neal is willing to stick with more traditional investments like those over cryptocurrency, at least for now.

Charles Barkley, Shaq have harsh criticism for Ben Simmons

Shaquille O'Neal

The relationship between Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers has deteriorated to the point of no return, and Simmons almost certainly believes the team is responsible for that. It is safe to say Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal disagree.

Barkley and O’Neal shared their thoughts on the Simmons situation during the latest episode of “The Big Podcast with Shaq.” Barkley, a former 76er, began by saying he is “disappointed” in Simmons.

“When you give somebody $200 million to dribble a stupid basketball and the only thing you asked him is to be better as a player, and their first response is, ‘I don’t want to be here anymore.’ That disappoints me as a player and disappoints me as a fan,” Barkley said.

That criticism was nothing compared to the way Shaq blasted Simmons. The four-time NBA champion bluntly stated that Simmons is “not that good” and said he has to work on his game to reach the next level.

“Don’t be putting pictures on Instagram of your Ferrari or what actresses you’re hanging around with,” Shaq said. “When you play for a town like Philadelphia, Boston, L.A., Miami, hard-working towns, they don’t give a s— about none of that. They want you to come, work hard and play hard.”

Shaq then ripped Simmons for the way he played against the Atlanta Hawks in the postseason.

“I was at that Game 6 when that man didn’t even look at the basket,” he added. “I know the first thing as a player I do is look in a player’s eyes. That man was out there terrified. Not terrified of playing, but terrified of being fouled and missing free throws.”

You can hear more of the criticism from Barkley and Shaq below:

This isn’t the first time Barkley and Shaq have ripped on Simmons. Barkley recently said he hopes the 76ers take a stand against trading Simmons where he wants to go. Shaq has been much more animated, especially when he blasted the former top overall pick during the playoffs.

Shaquille O’Neal wants Las Vegas to have NBA team

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal lives in Las Vegas part of the time and thinks the city should have an NBA team.

O’Neal was interviewed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s John Katsilometes regarding the Big Fella’s “The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation.” In the interview, they talked about Las Vegas possibly getting an NBA team. O’Neal seemed to hint one was coming.

“Las Vegas has grown a lot, and there is a lot of want for an NBA team,” O’Neal said via Katsilometes. “I don’t want to go on the record too far, but I’m leaning toward most definitely.”

O’Neal believes that Las Vegas can sustain an NBA team and hopes they get one within the next five years.

“Vegas can definitely sustain an NBA team,” he said. “We definitely have the fans, definitely have a supporting cast, and definitely have the sponsorship money. Hopefully it happens within the next five years.”

There has been talk that the NBA could add two more teams and expand to 32. The two locations often talked about as potential homes? Seattle and, you guessed it, Las Vegas.

Given his status as an NBA legend, businessman, and part-time Vegas resident, Shaq would probably have at least some knowledge of the NBA’s possible expansion plans to Vegas.

Shaq to sell minority ownership share of Sacramento Kings

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal will have to sell his minority ownership share of the Sacramento Kings, according to a report.

Shaq is a brand ambassador for Wynn Bet, which is a gambling company. Due to his relationship with Wynn, he cannot have an ownership stake in an NBA team and will have to sell his position in the Kings.

It’s unclear whether Shaq has initiated a sale or sold his stake in the team. The 49-year-old former center became a minority owner of the Kings in 2013. The Hall of Famer concluded his playing career in 2011.

According to one report, Shaq purchased a 1 percent stake in the Kings in 2013. He reportedly netted $6 million through his investment in the team.

Current majority owner Vivek Ranadive purchased a 65 percent share of the team in 2013 for $348 million. That means Shaq’s initial investment was around $5.35 million. His investment must have risen to over $11 million in value over his eight-year ownership term.

O’Neal is known for his endorsement deals and businesses away from the court. He has remained a popular figure since retiring and continues to work as an analyst for TNT. Maybe he keeps working so hard because he wants to keep up with current NBA salaries.

Shaq gives Giannis Antetokounmpo ultimate honor with ‘Superman’ nickname

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal gave Giannis Antetokounmpo the ultimate honor via Instagram on Saturday.

The Big Fella shared a graphic on his Instagram account that compared his career stats with Giannis’ through age 26. Antetokounmpo compares quite well with O’Neal.

O’Neal even said in his post that Giannis “is a bad boy call him Superman just call me Shaq.”

Shaq has been extremely protective of his “Superman” nickname throughout his career. He has even put down Dwight Howard over it.

For him to give it to Antetokounmpo shows how much he respects the Milwaukee Bucks star. It probably helps that Giannis isn’t a center, because O’Neal seems to really get protective over fellow big men.

Shaq responds to Dwight Howard’s impression of him

Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard are back for what is by now approximately Round 15 of their beef.

Howard did a funny impression of his longtime adversary O’Neal on social media this week. He seemed to nail O’Neal’s deep register and mimicked O’Neal’s takes on the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

O’Neal responded this weekend by reposting the video with the caption, “Not bad @dwighthoward reminds me of your game SO SO.”

O’Neal and Howard are essentially mortal enemies at this point. Their beef dates back over a decade now and was recently re-ignited by O’Neal after the Bucks won the NBA title.

You have to admit that Howard’s impression of O’Neal was pretty spot-on. But the retired Basketball Hall of Famer definitely does not appear to be too amused about it, especially coming from his arch-nemesis.