Shaquille O’Neal has been getting into internet fights with some NBA stars in the past couple of years and that “trend” doesn’t seem to be stopping for the 4x NBA champion, who recently starred in a very awkward moment with Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.
After Mitchell and his team secured their 7th consecutive win over the New Orleans Pelicans, he was being interviewed by TNT’s “Inside the NBA” crew. Shaq asked him a very curious question, telling Mitchell right to his face he doesn’t have what it takes to get to the next level. Mitchell showed his class and first replied with just one word: “alright.”
“I’ve been hearing that since my rookie year. I’m just going to get better and do what I do,” he later added.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 22, 2021
Mitchell has been getting better and better every season and this one he’s looking really great, just like his team. They’re currently 2nd in the West, tied with the Los Angeles Clippers, one game behind the Lakers. Mitchell has been the leader of this team this season and he’s making them compete with the two best teams in the conference right now.
This isn’t the first time that Shaq goes after a Utah Jazz player, as he did this a couple of weeks ago with Rudy Gobert. The Frenchman had something to say about those remarks, making it clear that as long as they keep winning, people will continue watching them regardless of their opinions.
“Whatever they want to call us, if we keep winning games, they’re gonna have to keep watching us. … Maybe all the way until July,”
Rudy Gobert, on the TNT crew saying Donovan Mitchell is not a superstar and can only score: “Whatever they want to call us, if we keep winning games, they’re gonna have to keep watching us. … Maybe all the way until July.”
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) January 22, 2021
Mike Conley also chimed in on this situation, explaining that Mitchell is still young and has a bright future ahead of him for one person just come and say something like that about him.
“I don’t know how you can make a statement like that regarding his progress at such a young age,” Conley said about his young teammate.
Mike Conley on Shaq’s interview with Donovan Mitchell: “I don’t know how you can make a statement like that regarding his progress at such a young age.”
— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) January 22, 2021
After blowing a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets last season, Mitchell entered this season with plenty of doubts about him. He has gotten better every season he has spent in the league but he’s yet to show he can lead his team to compete. Spyda is only 24 years old so people are probably putting too much pressure on him at such a young age.
Donovan Mitchell is the fastest player in NBA history to make 600 threes (240 games). Previous fastest was Buddy Hield. pic.twitter.com/MvTl2ioJwQ
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) January 22, 2021
However, seeing his performances this season, you might think he can at least compete with the Lakers and Clippers in the 2021 NBA playoffs.