Charles Barkley revealed on Thursday the funny nickname the TNT crew has for Shaq.
Barkley joked that they call Shaq “Petty White,” which is a play on words and reference to famous actress Betty White. Shaq said he preferred the name “Richard Petty,” who is a famous former racecar driver.
Both names refer to Shaq’s tendency to be petty about the way he criticizes and picks fights with players.
Recently, Shaq took some shots at Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert. Then Shaq tried to use some motivational tactics on Donovan Mitchell, which bothered some of Mitchell’s teammates.
Part of Shaq’s job as an analyst and personality is to attract attention, and he often does so with criticism. But his criticism also seems personal and rooted in insecurity whenever a talented big man emerges. That definitely seemed to be the case when Shaq was dealing with Dwight Howard.
Petty White definitely is a very fitting nickname.
There is some serious tension at the moment between the “NBA on TNT” crew and the Utah Jazz, and even the people in charge of team’s official Twitter account are getting in on the fun.
The Jazz won their seventh straight game on Thursday night with a 129-118 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. Despite Utah’s recent success, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and the TNT crew do not believe they’re in the same class as the Los Angeles Lakers and other top teams. Following the game, the Jazz took a couple of shots at the TNT analysts on Twitter.
The second tweet was a response to an awkward exchange Shaq had with Donovan Mitchell on live TV. Shaq told Mitchell after Utah’s win that he said earlier in the night that Mitchell doesn’t “have what it takes to get to that next level.” Mitchell wasn’t quite sure how to respond. You can see the video here.
Barkley also said he wants to see Mitchell get more rebounds and assists. Mitchell shouldn’t be too offended by that considering what he said about himself back in 2018.
The criticism from Shaq and Barkley should become an asset for Mitchell and the Jazz. Teams are always searching for sources of motivation, and that should be a big one for Utah.
Shaquille O’Neal offered some extremely harsh criticism of James Harden on Thursday night.
O’Neal spoke on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and shared his thoughts on Harden’s exit from Houston. O’Neal specifically questioned whether Harden gave Houston his all, as the guard claimed. Shaq picked apart Harden for his postseason struggles and for not making things work despite the Rockets constantly bringing in players he wanted.
Shaq raised the stakes on Harden, saying if he doesn’t win in Brooklyn this year, “it’s a bust.”
Harden entered the season unhappy with the Rockets and is out of shape. He’s been angling for a trade, and escalated matters with his postgame comments on Tuesday that O’Neal referenced. A day later, the Rockets traded him to Brooklyn in a massive trade (full details here).
Harden forced his way out of Houston, and now the pressure is on him to win big in Brooklyn.
James Wiseman is a new, emerging big man in the NBA and looking to find his place in the league. Wiseman was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 Draft by the Golden State Warriors. In seven games this season, he is averaging 11.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Wiseman is very close to Penny Hardaway, who coached him in high school and then briefly at Memphis before Wiseman was ruled ineligible by the NCAA. Hardaway was a four-time NBA All-Star and teamed with Shaq in the early ’90s to form a dynamic duo on the Orlando Magic.
Since Hardaway is so familiar with both men, The Athletic interviewed him and asked Penny to compare them. Hardaway was asked whether the two were similar and said no. Wiseman doesn’t have the same “meanness” Shaq had, according to Hardaway.
“He doesn’t have the meanness that Shaq had all the time. Shaq had a chip. Shaq always had a plan. And Shaq always knew he was the best. James carries that chip now. But Shaq always knew he was the chosen one. Shaq came from a different path. He had a military base stepfather. That military background helped Shaq be tougher. James was raised with women. He had his mom and his sister. They kind of babied him and spoiled him, not in a bad way. They were firm. But it wasn’t the same,” Hardaway said (full interview here).
Wiseman knows that he didn’t have that physical toughness, which is why Hardaway wanted to coach him at a public high school in Memphis. That’s when Wiseman began toughening up physically, to complement his mental toughness.
Shaq enjoys advertising his place among big men and putting others down. In this case, he won’t have to because Hardaway set things straight.
Photo: TheHoosier.com/Flickr via CC-BY-SA 2.0
Shaquille O’Neal is standing by his criticism of Dwight Howard.
O’Neal mocked some Los Angeles Lakers players for celebrating so hard after the team won the championship in October. Shaq believed that some of the players were just along for the ride and did not have much of a place celebrating so hard. A specific video made it clear he was targeting Howard, among others.
Well, O’Neal stands by his criticism, and says he is not a hater.
“You can only hate if you haven’t achieved,” O’Neal said on his podcast this week, via Talk Basket. “I’ve been there and done that, I’m still the Lord supreme of all big men. I’m the last big man to get an MVP in this league, so I’m still in charge. When another big man gets an MVP, I will resign gracefully.”
Shaq’s continued criticism of Howard should come as no surprise. Back when Howard was in his prime on the Magic, Shaq regularly criticized the big man. He was especially sensitive about Howard using the Superman cape. Dwight even backed down and changed nicknames to appease Shaq.
Once again, Shaq is claiming the throne and putting Dwight down. Does he have a case?
Shaquille O’Neal does not think Bill Walton is a Hall of Famer based on his NBA career.
Shaq spoke on a recent podcast episode about the topic. The topic came up in a discussion about whether Dwight Howard was a Hall of Famer.
“Isiah Thomas explained this to me. There’s two types of Hall of Famers: there’s a bad mofo, shut-your-mouth Hall of Famer, which I happen to be a proud member of. Then there’s the other Hall of Fame,” Shaq said.
That’s when he cited Walton as an example of someone who doesn’t really belong in the Hall as an NBA player.
“For example, I don’t think Bill Walton is a Hall of Famer. Then somebody mentioned it’s not the NBA Hall of Fame; it’s the Basketball Hall of Fame. So, based on that, yeah, he’s in. Because he did work in high school, he won in college, and he won one in the NBA.”
Walton won two championships and three National Player of the Year awards in a row at UCLA and became the No. 1 overall pick in the 1974 draft. Walton led Portland to the championship in 1977 and won NBA Finals MVP that year. He won MVP the following year. But Walton had multiple injury issues and only played 468 career games over 10 seasons. His second championship, with Boston, came as a reserve.
Putting the centers side-by-side, Walton’s level of accomplishment and NBA career is nothing compared to O’Neal’s. But for a career body of work, and taking injuries into account, not a whole lot of big men were better than Walton. He’s also up there for funniest and wackiest basketball announcers in retirement.
Photo: JAYZWELLING/Wikimedia via cc-by 3.0
Shaquille O’Neal played for the Miami Heat for three and a half seasons from 2004-2008 and led them to the NBA championship in 2006. But his favorite moment from his time with the team will surprise you.
Shaq joined ex-teammate Dorrell Wright for a conversation on “Text Message Talk Show with Dorrell Wright.” In the text conversation, Wright asked Shaq for his favorite memory of them being teammates.
Wright said his favorite memory was when Pat Riley kicked him out of a meeting. Shaq said his favorite moment was Wright trying to fight O’Neal naked in the shower. Shaq said Udonis Haslem didn’t want to step in and break them up. Shaq says they hugged and made up.
Shaq is legendary for some of the pranks he has pulled. Wright asked what Shaq’s best prank was.
Shaq said that it was in Phoenix when he used to mess with Lou Amundson. The prank involved stealing Amundson’s bike and making treasure maps to make him find it.
Shaq’s prank battles with Amundson were fairly well known, as shown in this video.
Wright was drafted by the Heat in 2004 and played with them through 2010. He had a brief second stint with the team in 2016. And he had one fun time teaming up with Shaq before O’Neal was traded to Phoenix.
H/T Heat Nation
Shaquille O’Neal thinks the Los Angeles Clippers need to make a big move this offseason.
Shaq was talking on his “The big podcast with Shaq” for an episode published on Wednesday. In the episode, the hosts talked about the Clippers, and that’s when Shaq shared his thoughts.
“They have to get rid of someone,” Shaq said, referring to Paul George.
“You gotta use [George] to get two good, solid players. Because I need Kawhi to be the man. I don’t want Kawhi to delegate. When Kawhi was with Toronto, he knew he was the man, everybody knew he was the man. Now you got one guy that thinks he’s the man, one guy that is the man. They got a guy coming off the bench that knows he’s the man.
“It may look good in certain games, but when you need to slow the game down and do certain things, it never works.”
The Clippers traded Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and half a dozen draft picks to get George from the Thunder and convince Kawhi to sign with them. Leonard wanted to play with George. It’s on them to make it work, especially after they handpicked the pairing.
The Clippers already made one big move this offseason. It would be a massive shock to see them follow Shaq’s advice.
Shaq tried a little something extra to relate to Giannis Antetokounmpo on Tuesday, and it did not go well.
Antetokounmpo joined TNT to accept the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. Shaquille O’Neal tried to congratulate him by speaking in Greek, but his lack of command of the language left Giannis confused.
Take a look at the video of Giannis’ reaction to Shaq.
Even if Shaq’s Greek leaves a lot to be desired, he should still be praised for getting the Bucks star’s last name right.
Antetokounmpo won NBA MVP last year and this year won Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in his career. He looks likely to capture MVP for the second year in a row, too. Now he’s trying to lead his Milwaukee Bucks to the championship.
There is some great news for fans of TNT’s “Inside the NBA” program: Shaq has signed a contract extension to remain with WarnerMedia. But there is more to his contract than that, and it involves wrestling.
Shaq is targeting a wrestling match for All Elite Wrestling, which airs on TNT. He wants to wrestle Cody Rhodes.
“I’d love to fight Cody,” Shaq told The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch. “Write it. Print it. Text it to him. Call AEW up and tell them.”
According to Deitsch’s story, Shaq’s contract will include executive producer roles on projects for Bleacher Report; his podcast moving to WarnerMedia; an appearance on CNN’s New Year’s Eve show; and a TV show in development with NBA TV.
Shaq is a gregarious personality who has fit in well with TNT since starting there in 2011. He also enjoys wrestling and has made appearances in WWE and WCW over the years, so seeing him appear on a AEW program would be natural.
O’Neal, 48, remains extremely visible as a pitch man and television personality despite being retired from the NBA for nearly a decade. The Big Fella won four championships during his NBA career.