Shaquille O’Neal is one of the best analysts in the business. He’s funny, interesting, and always makes some good points when talking about basketball — but it doesn’t come without criticism.
O’Neal has a tendency to either mispronounce players’ names or mistake where certain guys are from.
After claiming Nikola Jokic was Russian on “Inside the NBA,” O’Neal got into some hot water by NBA writer/analyst Chris Herring.
“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.”
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 w playing into this lowest-common denominator thing all the time.
I think what legitimately frustrates me, too, is that it’s almost incentivized at this point, too. 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’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
It’s understandable that O’Neal’s antics might cause some outrage by the NBA community. For someone that makes money to analyze the game, it should be a part of the job to get basic player information right, especially for someone as famous as Nikola Jokic or Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Of course, the show is always hailed for its high entertainment value. Not only are the guys funny, but they’ve got incredible chemistry that appeals to all types of fans — both casual and die-hard.
It really is a good thing they’ve got going on, but perhaps there are some areas in which the crew, and O’Neal specifically, could improve.