LeBron James and Kevin Durant come to Donovan Mitchell’s defense amidst Shaquille O’Neal criticism

Brad Sullivan
1 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers veteran LeBron James and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant took exception to the on-air criticism that former Laker Shaquille O’Neal directed at Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell on Thursday night.

The controversy began when O’Neal was interviewing Mitchell on Thursday night and stated that the guard lacked the ability to take the Jazz to the next level.

Cuffs the legend


LeBron James and Kevin Durant

Mitchell’s limited response was no doubt hiding his irritation with O’Neal’s opinion, considering that the guard has developed into an NBA standout.

During Mitchell’s first three seasons, the Jazz reached the Western Conference semifinals during Mitchell’s rookie season in 2017-18 and then were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs the next two seasons.

Still, O’Neal’s criticism seems unwarranted, considering that Mitchell is just one facet of the Jazz’s regular lineup and is facing teams that have as much, if not more, talent.

James’ comments help offer some payback for Mitchell, who previously offered support for James after television host Laura Ingraham criticized him. In addition, James’ respect for Mitchell as a player made a response to O’Neal’s comments necessary.

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Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.