Former Lakers superstar Shaquille O'Neal has never been shy about speaking his mind. For years, even long before he retired from the NBA, he spoke out about his beliefs and opinions on his career, the game of basketball, and the world itself.
Nowadays, we usually hear O'Neal chirp on TNT's "Inside the NBA," but he does frequently make appearances on other platforms as well.
In a chat with Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson, O'Neal went on his most recent rant, involving today's bigs and how he views them in light of his own amazing career:
"The game is evolving. Us older big guys don’t look at it as evolving. We look at it as soft b/c guys don’t want to get down there & bang. Which is okay. New era new generation, I can’t tell them how to play. I can’t tell them what to do."
Shaq has criticized the NBA's modern-day trends many times before, and his grips have been the same. Whether it's not going inside, the player empowerment movement, or stars teaming up with each other, O'Neal thinks the NBA is soft nowadays.
"The words I hate is this new era. We watched the era before us… and we all competed. Guys are getting real lazy and real cute and then they want guys like me and Big Shot Bob to show them some respect. Trust me, if I knew it was okay to team up after Houston busting my ass in 94, I would have went and played next to Hakeem … I would have went to go play with Tim Duncan and Dave Robinson … But I was like nope. I’m checking my leaks, licking my wounds, and I want to beat these dudes and we did. Rob got seven, I got four but whenever we saw something, we hate."
Love it or hate it, O'Neal definitely has a point. Part of what makes his era different than this one is that many bigs have resorted to shooting from the perimeter. Traditional, under-the-rim plays for bigs are becoming increasingly rare nowadays, as spreading the floor and racing up threes has become the new priority.
Whether or not that makes anyone soft, though, is for you to decide.