Shaquille O’Neal is being taken to task for not doing his job properly. ESPN writer Chris Herring tore into him for talking to Nikola Jokic in Russian.
Shaq committed a worse blunder than almost anything he shows us on Shaqtin-a-Fool, last night. He started talking to Jokic in broken Russian in the post-game interview. He was immediately told by the Inside cast that Jokic is Serbian, not Russian.
It’s a testament to how cool Jokic is that he did not take offense to Shaquille O’Neal last night. Slavic people are really proud of their roots. Assuming a Serbian to be Russian would not be considered cool in almost any context. But Jokic let it slide, and played along with the fun having got the win.
Chris Herring puts Shaquille O’Neal on blast for Nikola Jokic gaffe
Herring released a Twitter thread which brings all of his points across:
“It’s always been treated as this endearing quality to not know how to pronounce these guys’ names (literal MVP winners). To not know what countries they’re from (MVP candidates), or not know which teams they play for… It’s really not that funny, tho.”
“I fully get that it’s entertainment, I don’t expect analytical arguments with every segment. I just think no one is done any favors with playing into this lowest-common denominator thing all the time.”
It’s always been treated as this endearing quality to not know how to pronounce these guys’ names (literal MVP winners), or not know what countries they’re from (MVP candidates), or not know which teams they play for. … It’s really not that funny, tho.
— Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) January 15, 2021
“What legitimately frustrates me, too, is that it’s almost incentivized at this point, too. It wasn’t lost on me that Bleacher Report announced they were killing their whole magazine within the same two-day window that Turner re-upped w Shaq. Which … I get it!
“But in light of something like that, bringing a certain level of effort to something would be wonderful. It would be more than welcome if and when it actually happens.”
It really reeks of unprofessionalism for an ‘analyst’ to not be able to pronounce names of European superstars. Shaq really does need to do better.