Shaquille O’Neal criticized Donovan Mitchell after dropping 36 points and the Utah Jazz go on to win 19 of their previous 20 games.
Shaquille O’Neal has built a persona for himself these past couple of years as that retired NBA legend who just doesn’t have a lot of nice things to say about players in the league today. He’s gone after a multitude of players such as JaVale McGee, Dwight Howard, Karl-Anthony Towns, and most recently, both of the Utah Jazz’s stars, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
In a cringe-worthy moment following a Utah Jazz win over the Boston Celtics where Mitchell dropped 36, Shaq told the 2017 draftee that he doesn’t believe he has what it takes, right to his face. Donovan Mitchell shrugged this off and said, “alright”.
The Jazz have now won 20 out of their last 21 games and are clearly one of the best teams in the league. They hold the best record in the NBA at 23-5. Many fans believe Shaq owes Mitchell and the Jazz an apology.
Shaquille O’Neal continues to berate modern day players and calls it “constructive criticism”
Shaq also went after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. Gobert has been having a career year so far and is the clear favorite for winning Defensive Player of the Year honors. His presence in the paint allows the Jazz to lock down the interior while also push the perimeter defenders towards the arc to help limit opponent 3 point attempts.
This has been the Jazz’s formula on defense this season and they have worked it to perfection. So much so that the Athletic’s John Hollinger shocked Zach Lowe by telling him that he can argue for Rudy Gibert being a top 3 MVP candidate this season.
Shaq did try to defend himself by saying he only uses “constructive criticism to help fuel a fire within the players. He dismisses the notion that he ‘hates’ on NBA players today.
Shaq on Donovan Mitchell “I never hate, I just try to give constructive criticism. My whole career I’ve been a leader and motivate my players a certain way. So, you’re welcome Utah.” pic.twitter.com/0BKUZ07EXa
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) February 10, 2021
Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee have also been on the brunt end of Shaq’s continued barrage of insults. When asked about it, Dwight said, “When we first got to LA, me and JaVale was like, ‘Yo did you do something to Shaq?’ and he was like, ‘Bro I don’t know!’ I wish we could play each other again so we could end this beef.”