Shaquille O’Neal loves Stephen Curry – but his ex-teammate Kevin Durant, not so much.
Shaq knows a thing or two about superstars – he was one of the biggest ones ever. So when asked about who he thinks the current crop of the elite is, he began his list with the Golden State Warriors man Stephen Curry. Like Shaq, Curry has 4 rings, is on his way to becoming a Hall of Famer, and broke multiple records on the way. Steph may be the antithesis of Big Diesel, but the love is genuine.
His next on the list was the difficult to pronounce, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The ex-Lakers big man once called Giannis the reincarnation of Shaquille O’Neal. High praise from a man who terrified the league with his sheer presence. The Greek Freak may not be the 400-pound mound of muscle but plays very similarly to him from his Orlando days. He may get better, with him picking up a jump shot.
This is where things get interesting – because it looked like Shaq forgot a few obvious names on the list. He seemed more interested in the woman conducting the interview, rather than racking his brains to drum up those names. Very rarely do we see Shaq not smiling and joking around, this was one of those rare scenarios.
Shaquille O’Neal respects a few of the current crop of superstars – Kevin Durant may not be on that list, and Kawhi Leonard isn’t even on it
When he stopped to think about more players, the interviewer had to prompt him with a few names. LeBron James was number 1, to which he sheepishly replied “Yeah yeah, Bron, of course“. Is that a cheeky shot at him, or a genuine loss for words, who knows? But where he knew his answer but was forced to say it for the camera was Kevin Durant.
To the world, Durant is an outright legend, a man who could create a shot from literally anywhere. When Kobe Bryant called him the toughest to guard, he knew he achieved superstardom. But one thing Shaq hates is ditching a team when they are down. He left a few teams in his trail, but never when they were down. But his talent outweighs the behavior, so he was forced to say, “I guess, yeah“.
But when it came to Kawhi Leonard, O’Neal was not ready to budge from his stance. He made his interviewer spin around and made her say he wasn’t. She had to accept that he dropped from superstardom, mainly because he’s been out for so long.