After days of discussion over comments Shaquille O’Neal made to Donovan Mitchell postgame on Inside the NBA, the Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer decided to use Instagram to make his point that he’s played alongside guards who are at the level he believes Mitchell needs to ascend.
“I played with the best ever-to do it,” he wrote in a post full of photos of everyone from Kobe Bryant to Penny Hardaway. “You know I know what best look like.”
Shaq also made it a point to stress that his credentials when he tries to discuss greatness are nigh unparalleled in the league.
Shaq took to Instagram to defend his recent criticism of NBA players. pic.twitter.com/HZBhqnNPoS
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 27, 2021
In reality, the issue had nothing to do with whether Shaq had the bona fides to analyze Mitchell’s game, but more so that his timing was rather odd. The question came after Mitchell had just put up nearly a 40-point double-double in a win for the Jazz, and was not even part of a special interview or panel segment, but in the heat of a postgame interview that did not include specifics as to where he thought Mitchell had to improve his game. None of that has anything to do with the fact that Shaq was on the same team as guys like Bryant and Hardaway during his career. Shaq is, undoubtedly, an all-time great, but as both LeBron James and Kevin Durant recently pointed out, there will be times when younger players will just not want to hear what players from his era have to say, and it has nothing to do with the respect (or lack thereof) they have for them.