Shaquille O'Neal does not mince words when speaking about basketball, and that certainly leads to a ton of headlines. Regardless, he remains one of the most loved basketball players because of his entertaining personality.
Over the years, individuals have come at Big Diesel for his takes on several topics surrounding the league. For his, what some will call "harsh truths," he has been labeled a "Hater" by many others.
More recently, Big Shaq has come at Ben Simmons, saying that he needs to man up following his current stand-off with the Philadelphia 76ers. He has also commented on Scottie Pippen's bold claim of being better than Michael Jordan.
With the term "hater" being thrown around, Shaq has opted to clear the air and give reasons why he sees things differently. In a recent episode on The Big Podcast with Shaq (7:34), he said:
“A lot of people think I’m a hater or whatever. It’s not that I’m a hater. It’s just that I’ve seen real greatness. If you not equal or above that, you get no props from me.”
Coming from an accomplished player like Shaq, it is difficult to not see reason with his statement. Although he will continue to beat himself up for not winning a fifth ring like his teammate and friend Kobe Bryant did, he is still an all-time great.
Big Shaq started playing professionally with the Orlando Magic but played only four seasons before moving to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he played most of his career. He won three championships with the purple and gold, then partnered with Dwyane Wade in Miami to win the fourth.
To date, Shaq remains arguably the most dominant player in league history. He finished his career averaging 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks. Big Diesel also has his jersey numbers hanging in the rafter at Staples and the FTX Arena.