Cover Image for “People said I was hating on 7’1″ Rudy Gobert, but I wasn’t!”: $600 million man Shaquille O’Neal talks about how french big man has allowed other big men to get paid

“People said I was hating on 7’1″ Rudy Gobert, but I wasn’t!”: $600 million man Shaquille O’Neal talks about how french big man has allowed other big men to get paid

Achyuth Jayagopal
|Fri Jul 15 2022


Shaquille O’Neal’s beef with Rudy Gobert is well known.

Shaq and Gobert represent two different eras for big men. Big Diesel set the standard for physicality and dominance. Gobert stands for the modern game, with his technical abilities and nimbleness.

As eras clashed, there was a lot of chatter between the two bigs. Particularly, when Gobert signed his $205 million extension during the 2020-21 season. A defensive big earning so much was unheard of.

Also read: “Shaquille O’Neal, you are a billionaire bro”: Kevin Durant brings up Shaq’s net worth in response to him accepting his jealousy of Rudy Gobert earning $250 million

Shaquille O’Neal made it a point to bring it up on multiple instances. Shaq was often scathing in his criticism of Gobert and brought up the contract whenever he could. The NBA world responded and debates around the same were commonplace.

However, Shaq recalled the incident later and said that he meant no offense. On the contrary, Big Diesel believes that his statement was a complement to the hard work Gobert put in the league.

How was Shaq complementing Gobert with his statements?

Shaquille O’Neal said that his statement was indeed a complement to Rudy Gobert. Shaq says that his statement was merely a reminder to the other big men that they could also get the bag with hard work.

Shaq went on to add that all big men can’t be as naturally skilled as Tim Duncan, David Robinson or Dirk Nowitzki. He goes on to say that Gobert has given the others hope that with hard work, they can emulate what Gobert did in the league.

While Shaq claims that this was not a dig, it definitely does sound like it; at least in shades. Shaq indirectly seems to point out that Gobert isn’t skilled enough to be considered an all-time great.

Rudy Gobert has won multiple defensive player of the year trophies and is one of the best big men of his era. To remark that he isn’t skilled enough and his success is just a by-product of hard work is a slight in itself.

Shaquille O’Neal and Rudy Gobert are both studs in their own right. At the end of the day, one made $200 million as a player in 5 years, and the other didn’t. It definitely seems that there was some salt in Shaq’s statements. But then again, we can only leave the same to conjecture.

Also read: “Shaquille O’Neal would be arrested for what he’d do to Rudy Gobert!”: Stephen A. Smith claims Lakers legend would annihilate Jazz star if they ever went 1v1


About the author