Dwight Howard challenges Shaquille O’Neal to wrestling match for king of L.A. title

Jonathan Sherman
4 Min Read

During a recent sit-down interview with Shannon Sharpe, former Los Angeles Lakers big man Dwight Howard challenged Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal to a wrestling match.

“Shaq also is a big wrestling fan,” Sharpe pitched. “Shaq, Dwight, 2023 SummerSlam — winner gets the Superman nickname.”

Howard listened with a smile on his face.

“I like it,” he said. “… Guess what? It’s even bigger. WrestleMania is in L.A. this year. Who the king of L.A.? Let’s go Shaq!”

Howard then pulled off a pretty impressive impression of O’Neal’s famous monotone delivery.

As Lakers fans know quite well, O’Neal and Howard have had a rather consistent beef for years now. Just last month, Howard admitted confusion over why O’Neal seemingly has a never-ending appetite for criticizing him and questioning his legacy.

“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.’”

He added that he’s never had an issue with O’Neal.

“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.”

He even added that he’s reached out to try to “work out with him, do business” to try to move past the bad blood that the two seemingly have. It seems as though his WrestleMania pitch is the latest chapter in that endeavor.

Knowing how proud O’Neal can be, it’s unlikely that he’s going to find the humor in Howard’s hilarious, but not exactly flattering impression.

When it comes to wrestling, the two would obviously put on an incredible spectacle. Both players are physical freaks, with O’Neal coming in at 7-foot-1 and over 300 pounds and Howard weighing in at 265 pounds and standing 6-foot-10.

Their matchup would be a clash of titans that wrestling fans would surely enjoy.

With that in mind, it seems highly unlikely that such a match would ever really take place. O’Neal is quite a bit older than the average wrestler at 50 years of age.

As for Howard, he recently said himself that he is trying to extend his NBA career.

He recently pitched himself to the defending champion Golden State Warriors, saying that he could contribute on the floor while also mentoring young big man James Wiseman.

Wherever Howard takes his athletic career next, it’s clear that he’s missing the competitive spirit that comes with being a professional athlete.

Only time will tell if he gets on the NBA floor or in the WWE ring anytime soon.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.