TNT (DR) / Los Angeles Lakers (DR)
Shaquille O’Neal isn’t one to hold back, especially when judging working interiors. One of them in particular has been the target of his criticism for more than a decade… However, the Big Cactus recently did an about-face.
It’s no secret that Shaquille O’Neal has no problem tearing down players who are currently on the court. Some have the right to his admiration, like Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic or even Giannis Antetokounmpo, which he claims is the closest thing to Big Diesel during his career. For the rest, however, the verdict is often much more scathing…especially for a specific athlete.
This player is none other than Dwight Howard, who is still without a team after becoming a free agent this summer. The kingpin has indeed endured the Hall of Famer’s incendiary comments for over a decade now. It must be said that Shaqfu did not appreciate the many comparisons that were made between the two men. The similarities are there, however: they evolve in the same position, were superstars at the Magic for years before going to the Lakers.
Shaq softened about Dwight Howard?
Being extremely physically dominant during the first half of his career, D12 quickly inherited the nickname “Superman”, which once belonged to O’Neal. Unsurprisingly, the latter didn’t like it and he spent years after that denying that Howard deserved the nickname… However, a recent interview with USA Today suggests that he might have softened up about the interior:
USA Today : Is there anyone who can dunk like you in the modern NBA?
Shaquille O’Neal : I think there’s probably only one, Dwight Howard. He was a monster when he was younger.
When we remember that the Big Cactus had declared that the person concerned had in no way contributed to the sacredness of the Lakers two years ago, we say to ourselves that the speech has changed a lot.
At the same time, the ex-pivot could hardly have questioned the dunking talents of D12, who knew how to combine power and spectacle when he was going to destroy the circle. He also won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2008 and was second in the rankings a year later, which is not nothing. Ultra-powerful and endowed with superhuman athletic qualities, he regularly squatted the Top 10 highlights every night, especially during his time in Florida:
Dwight Howard on the Magic was UNSTOPPABLE. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/XEfMARVb9D
— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) September 16, 2021
After years of virulently criticizing Dwight Howard, Shaquille O’Neal seems to have calmed down a bit about the 2020 champion. Ironically, this comes as the 37-year-old pivot struggles to find a team. .