Shaquille O'Neal isn't convinced that 3x Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert could hold him to 12 points on the court.
Speaking on 'The Big Podcast,' O'Neal went off after his co-host, Spice Adams, who claimed Gobert could lock him up in his prime. He explained why:
“12 points? Yeah, in the first three minutes," Shaq said. "Let me tell you something, man. It’s against my religion for somebody to hold me one-on-one. I take that personally. I do. First play of the game I always used to look and see what the defense is going to do,” Shaq said reliving his Lakers days. “Like ‘Okay, he’s doubling from Spice [Adams]. Spice is going to be wide open for the jumper. Like, I always look at the first play. But if I get it and nobody’s coming, I take that as a sign of disrespect.”
“You know what I’m going to do to him? He’s a shot blocker. You can’t shoot a shot. You’ve got to back his little skinny a– up under the rim. Show him the ‘bow so he gets scared and just go up.”
Shaq and Gobert have some history. For some reason, the Big Diesel has just never been a fan of the talented Frenchman.
Back in January of last year, O'Neal clowned Gobert after he signed his $200 million extension.
“I’m not gonna hate, but this should be an inspiration to all the little kids out there,” said O’Neal. “You average 11 points in the NBA, you can get $200 million. The silver lining is he is a great agent, and I’m happy for him and his family. With the new rules, you have a pot of money, and you have to spend that money. I’m happy for him, but this is a moment for a lot of kids who think they can’t make it.”
So, it's no surprise that Shaq wasn't sold on the idea of being shut down by Rudy. Putting aside the personal beef between them, thinking Shaq could even be defended like that borders on blasphemy.
As one of the most dominant bigs in NBA history, O'Neal was an absolute force in his day. Nobody, not even Rudy Gobert, would have been able to stop him.