Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most fearsome centers to have ever played in the NBA. He terrorized defenders for 19 long years and dominated the paint. It’s no secret that NBA fans love pitting players from different generations against each other. The latest matchup to come out of this is Shaq versus Rudy Gobert.
Gobert is a 7-1 foot center who has established himself as one of the best defenders in the NBA currently. Representing the Utah Jazz, he has won the Defensive Player of the Year award three times. His first two came in successive seasons from 2017 to 2019, and his last one came in the 2020-2021 season.
He has previously led the NBA in blocks per game in 2016-2017 at 2.6 blocks per game and in 2020-2021 with 2.7 blocks per game. He also led the league in defensive rebounds last season with 720 rebounds.
This season was just as dominant for the big man with him coming a close second in both stats, defensive rebounds, and blocks. He finished third in the Defensive Player of the Year race behind Marcus Smart and Mikal Bridges.
Shaquille O’Neal and Rudy Gobert disagree on who comes out on top
Speaking on one of the multiple shows that Shaq appears on, he hit back at a suggestion from a co-host. Former NFL pro and comedian, Spice Adams suggested that Rudy Gobert would hold O’Neal to just 12 points.
Spice Adams: “I think Rudy Gobert could hold you to like 12 points.”
Shaq: “12 points? Yeah, in the first 3 minutes. It’s against my religion for somebody to hold me 1-on-1.”
Rudy Gobert on IG: “I would lock his ass up. 🔒”
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 9, 2022
And Shaq did not hold back in response. He retorted, “12 points? Yeah, in the first 3 minutes.” He further dramatized it by saying it’s against his belief to be held 1-on-1 by anyone.
However, that is not where it ended. Gobert, now eliminated from the playoffs by Luka Doncic’s Mavericks, fired right back at Big Shaq.
Rudy fires back at Shaq in our comments 👀🍿 pic.twitter.com/ReqZZ6Z6WZ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 9, 2022
In response, the 4-time NBA Champion only screenshotted Rudy’s comment and posted it with a cryptic caption, “locked up”.
View this post on Instagram
Gobert’s comment on Bleacher Report’s Instagram post drew a lot of flak from NBA fans across social media.
Rudy Gobert thinks he can lock up Shaq. Lets remind him pic.twitter.com/IYPW24kl4F
— Hoops (@HoopMixOnly) May 9, 2022
The fans firmly believe Shaq, who has the 2nd most slam dunks in the NBA since 1996, will go to work as usual against Gobert and best him. But I guess we will never know.