Shaq says that today’s players are much too sensitive and when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar criticized his play, he merely took it and got better.
The ongoing beef between Shaquille O’Neal and players in the NBA today seems to have no end to it. Shaq has been continually critiquing modern day players, ever since he was given a platform to do so. Everything from digs at Karl Anthony Towns to annihilating Rudy Gobert for having been given a supermax contract when he averages less than 15 points per game.
Many have called out the Lakers legend for his comments on players, claiming he’s too hard on them. His takes on players nowadays have transitioned from constructive criticism to borderline hate. Instances such as telling Donovan Mitchell to his face that he doesn’t believe Mitchell is a star player in this league might be a tad bit too far for some.
Shaq seems to have had enough of people calling him out on his unique style of encouraging players to do better as he talks about how he had to deal with the same level of criticism back when he was in the league.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gave Shaq ‘constructive criticism’
In response to being called out for ‘hating’ on players, Shaq decides to speak up. He recalls the time when Lakers HOFer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had harsh comments directed towards him, during the time that he was a Lakers.
“When Kareem gave me constructive criticism, I took it, I listened and brought my game to another level. These guys now are pudding pops.”
“When [Kareem Abdul Jabbar] gave me constructive criticism, I took it, I listened and I brought my game to another level. These guys now are pudding pops.” –@SHAQ
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) March 1, 2021
The incident Shaq is referring to would most likely be the time when Shaq dropped 61 points in March of 2000 with Kareem sitting courtside. When asked if he was impressed by Shaq, Kareem said, “He hasn’t won any championships yet, he’s not that good.”
Shaq may have a point here. It’s no surprise that players from the previous generation are a bit more hard-nosed that the players that are currently in the league today. However, Shaq seems to give off the vibe that he simply does not like current NBA players as he criticizes far more than he compliments players on their game.