Kevin Durant challenges Shaquille O’Neal for disrespecting Lakers newcomer Rui Hachimura

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read

Earlier this week, Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal made some questionable comments about newly acquired Lakers forward Rui Hachimura. Now, Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant has come out to condemn O’Neal for his dubious take.

The drama began during an episode of O’Neal’s own podcast when he had some pretty harsh words regarding Hachimura and the Lakers’ decision to acquire him.

“I ain’t never heard of him,” O’Neal said of Hachimura. “I mean, you know we gave up Kendrick Nunn – he wasn’t really doing nothing, but listen – I’m going to get on my Spice [Adams] thing right now. My Lakers, we all about winning them championships.

“If it ain’t no piece that gon’ win a championship, I don’t want to see it. I don’t even know who that is.”

He added that the only way he would have been impressed by a Lakers trade with the Washington Wizards is if it had been for star guard Bradley Beal.

It’s not only disrespectful to Hachimura, a young player who has proven that he belongs in the NBA, but it also highlights a general lack of knowledge of the league on O’Neal’s part.

That was Durant’s sentiment in the tweet he published in response to O’Neal’s message.

Hachimura has only played in one game for the Lakers thus far, but he was mightily impressive in that outing. He logged 12 points, six boards, one assist and one steal and was plus-17 on the night. He also shot the ball efficiently, going 4-for-7 from the field and 1-for-3 from deep.

Though he may not be a star in the NBA, he is the kind of role player that the Lakers have badly needed throughout the 2022-23 season.

While O’Neal may not be impressed by the move, the rest of the NBA world was pleasantly surprised by the deal. In fact, the Lakers have been criticized in recent years for only going after star players in trades.

The decision to go after a player like Hachimura and get him for such a decent price (Nunn and three second-round picks) looks like a big win for the Lakers.

It stands to reason that O’Neal will eventually be well aware of what the Japanese big man can do on the court by the time the current campaign comes to an end.

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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.