Former Lakers superstar Shaquille O’Neal was never shy to speak up. For years, even long before he retired from the NBA, he shared his beliefs and opinions about his career, the basketball game, and the world itself.
Nowadays, O’Neal can usually be heard chirping “Inside the NBA” on TNT’s, but he also appears frequently on other platforms.
In a chat with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, O’Neal shared his latest swear word about today’s greats and how he sees them in the light of his own amazing career:
“The game keeps evolving. We older big boys don’t see it as evolving. We see it as soft B / C guys who don’t want to go down there and pop. Which is fine. New era, new generation, me I can’t tell them how to play. I can’t tell them what to do. “
Shaq has criticized the NBA’s modern trends many times, and his grips have been the same. Whether it’s about not getting into the game, the player empowerment movement, or the stars banding together, O’Neal thinks the NBA is soft these days.
“The words I hate are this new era. We saw the era ahead of us … and we all competed against each other. The guys get really lazy and really cute and then they want guys like me and Big Shot Bob to show them some respect. Trust me, if I had known it was okay to band together after Houston tore my ass up in 94, I would have played alongside Hakeem … I would have gone to play with Tim Duncan and Dave Robinson … but I was like no I check my leaks, lick my wounds and i want to beat these guys and we did. Rob has seven, I have four, but every time we see something we hate. “
Love it or hate it, O’Neal definitely has a point. Part of what sets his era apart from this one is that many Bigs have resorted to local shooting. Traditional under the edge games for the grown-ups are becoming rarer these days as flooring out and three-person races have become a new priority.
However, whether or not that softens someone is up to you to decide.