Jusuf Nurkic clears the air after Shaquille O’Neal accuses him of pressing charges: ‘People be making s–t up’

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Jusuf Nurkic did little in reacting after Draymond Green hit him in the face during a game last month, but the Phoenix Suns center was quick to clap back at Shaquille O’Neal for remarks the Los Angeles Lakers legend made about the incident.

During a recent episode of his podcast, O’Neal was addressing a possible report that Nurkic may have been considering pressing charges against the Golden State Warriors star for striking him in the face.

In response, the 29-year-old from Bosnia and Herzegovina said he never said anything about pressing charges and did not plan to lose any money, possibly referring to getting fined or suspended for retaliating.

O’Neal’s opinion of Nurkic is similar to one expressed by former Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem, who said Green targets players “who really aren’t going to do nothing back.”

Nurkic did say some things about Green after the game on Dec. 12.

Green was recently reinstated by the NBA after sitting out 12 games in what was originally termed an indefinite suspension levied for a repeated history of unsportsmanlike acts. The 33-year-old was also suspended for five games earlier this season for using a chokehold on Rudy Gobert of the Minnesota Timberwolves in their game on Nov. 14.

The four-time NBA champion said he received some encouraging words from Lakers superstar LeBron James during his suspension and revealed that the NBA’s Adam Silver helped talk him out of possibly retiring from the game.

Green was required to satisfy certain conditions before he could be reinstated, and he reportedly participated in counseling. He has not yet played in a game since being reinstated.

After fashioning a five-game winning streak early in Green’s latest suspension, the Warriors are currently struggling. They have dropped six of their past eight games, including a dismal 141-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday that dropped their record to 17-20.

The Warriors, Lakers and Suns are currently close in the standings and could wind up competing with each other for postseason positioning as the campaign continues.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.