Former NBA star Dwight Howard has responded to comments made by basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal regarding his current stint in Taiwan’s T1 League.
During Thursday’s episode of “The Big Podcast,” O’Neal laughed after he was asked by co-host Spice Adams about Howard’s 38-point debut playing for the Taoyuan Leopards.
“You should never be complimented for being a good father because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?” O’Neal said in the video of the episode. “He’s supposed to have 30 points playing against dudes 5’8”.”
When Adams pointed out that Howard, 36, attempted 10 3-pointers in one night, O’Neal, 50, said that the T1 league reminds him of “the Lifetime Fitness league every Saturday when I go workout on Saturdays.”
“This message is for Shaquille O’Neal,” he opens. “First thing I want to say is, you gotta stop hating brother. You gotta stop hating! I have never in my life came at you about your basketball career, your family, your kids, anything of the sort. Because there is no need to.”
“The world is too big to hate on another man,” he says. “Have I joked about — have I mimicked your voice, have I mimicked what I see on TV? Everybody do that [sic]. Comedians do that. People do that all the time. And I do it all the time, I do that to everybody. But I do not hate on people. So stop hating.”
According to the eight-time NBA All-Star, what O’Neal said was “highly disrespectful” to his teammates, the league and the people of Taiwan.
“You’re too old to be hating,” Howard adds. “You’re too big to be hating. You’re supposed to be Superman, the original Superman. Shaquille O’Neal. The original Superman is hating? The OG Superman is hating?
“Come on man, we know what you did in basketball, we know how much money you got. You talk about it. We know how much stories you got. We know everything that you have done, Shaquille O’Neal. Stop hating. There’s no need to hate. You did everything in life that everybody wished that they could do. They want to be Superman. They want to be you!”
Howard spent 18 years in the NBA since being drafted No. 1 by the Magic in 2004. His career saw him play for the Magic, Rockets, Hornets, Hawks, 76ers, Wizards and the Lakers, in which he spent three separate one year-stints throughout his NBA career. It was with the Lakers that he won his only championship in the 2019–20 season.
The 36-year-old center, who signed a $1 million per year contract with the Leopards, put up 38 points, 25 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 blocks in his debut on Nov. 19 to help the team defeat New Taipei CTBC DEA, 120-115.