Dwight expresses confusion as to why Shaq continues to hate on him: ‘I was thinking he wanna fight or something’

Zach Stevens
4 Min Read

For years, legendary Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal has been blasting Dwight Howard, another former Lakers center, with criticism.

Much of the criticism has centered around the fact that in O’Neal’s eyes, Howard has been a very good center but not a great or dominant one.

Howard answered back on a recent episode of the podcast “All The Smoke.”

“I was thinking he wanna fight or something because every time it was something on TV or somebody would say something,” said Howard. “‘No, I don’t think so. The Lakers got 5 Hall of Famers. No, no, no, no, only four, he’s not one, don’t put him in there. No, don’t do that, no.'”

Howard is much more of a lover than a fighter, and he seems to be the type who wants people to love him and give him recognition.

He insisted that he doesn’t want to have any type of feud with the four-time champion.

“I never had no issues with Shaq,” he continued. “I never wanted to be like Shaq, but I enjoy watching Shaq do what he do. I think he’s the most dominant player to ever play. There’s no player who dominated like Shaq.

“I’m like, why is he hating on me? He should be happy that somebody is trying to follow in his footsteps.”

Howard said he has tried to reach out to O’Neal in order to patch things up.

“‘I reached out to try to work out with him, do business, whatever it may be because I ain’t got no bad blood with Shaq, but it just seemed like it’s always something between me and him,” Howard said. “Even now, the stuff I was just saying about the Hall of Fame s—, that happened this season. ‘I can’t watch the Lakers.’ I bet he watch Laker games this year cause I ain’t on the team.”

As the No. 1 pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Howard was compared by some to O’Neal, at least to a certain extent, when the former started to establish himself as a star in the late 2000s. It certainly didn’t help that both started their careers with the Orlando Magic and loved to take on the persona of Superman.

Howard won three straight Defensive Player of the Year awards and led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals. Although he was utterly dominant defensively and on the boards, his offense left something to be desired.

O’Neal, who became an analyst on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” about a decade ago, started to criticize Howard for not being a dominant offensive player who puts up 25-30 points a game as he did for many years back in the day.

After a failed stint with L.A. in the 2012-13 season, Howard bounced around the league amidst problems getting along with superstar teammates such as Kobe Bryant and James Harden.

When the Lakers brought him back three years ago, he had a deeply entrenched reputation as a selfish diva, but he became more humble and team-oriented during the 2019-20 season, as he helped them win it all.

Even after that, O’Neal said he wouldn’t apologize for throwing shade at Howard.

Right now, Howard seems to be at the end of his career, as he remains a free agent. He has said he is planning on a second career as a WWE fighter if no NBA team ends up signing him up.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.