Shaquille O’Neal enjoyed an extremely successful career as a big man in the NBA. Across 6 teams, and 4 championships, he dominated the league. Post-retirement, Shaq has stayed within the fraternity of the NBA and stays heavily involved.
O’Neal is the host of his own podcast and he co-hosts the very popular Inside the NBA talk show on TNT. His experience of 1,207 games in the NBA counts for invaluable insight into the basketball world. Likewise, his social media presence is also a bold expression of his views.
Shaq’s most popular playing days were at the Los Angeles Lakers where he spent 8 seasons. He made the playoffs all 8 seasons and never failed to progress past the first round at least. Subsequently, this consistency yielded him 3 straight championships.
The 15-time All-Star tallied 13,895 points and 6,090 rebounds in 514 games in LA. He formed one of the most fearsome duos at the Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant. And having been part of a championship dynasty, he knows a thing or two about leaving it too.
As is the case of Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors.
Shaquille O’Neal criticizes Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors after their historic collapse against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. His arrival formed a superteam alongside the already established trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Within 3 seasons at the Warriors, KD amassed 5,374 points and 1,474 rebounds in 208 games. He led the Warriors to 2 NBA Championships in 3 years and was the Finals MVP in both championships. He also led the league in playoff scoring in his third year at the Warriors but untimely injuries prevented them from threepeating the NBA championship.
After a fallout with the team, Durant opted to move to the Brooklyn Nets and teamed up with Kyrie Irving. But it hasn’t been the same as the Warriors. In 2 seasons with a talented roster around him, KD has not reached the Eastern Conference finals yet. And has no championship to show for it.
Shaquille O’Neal also questioned his decision to leave the franchise. He posted a screenshot of a tweet on his Instagram story.
This is really on Shaq ig story lmao pic.twitter.com/XQAIDh5lv0
— trish ❣️ (@stephsupremacy) May 17, 2022
The tweet in question was the following. It satirically listed Kevin Durant’s accomplishments since leaving the Warriors and Stephen Curry.
KD accomplishment since he left steph
— Manny (@MannyGunny) May 15, 2022
While Durant got swept in the first round of the playoffs this postseason, Steph has returned the Warriors to the conference finals. Perhaps it is a reminder to players to prioritize their careers over personal vendettas. But KD still has time to redeem himself. Will next season come together for him?