While some may see O’Neal’s comments as a bit disrespectful, the four-time NBA champion mentioned on Wednesday that his words are “strictly for motivation.”
I don’t have the time or energy to hate. My words are strictly for motivation. https://t.co/HAROUj0zzd
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) May 11, 2022
It seems like O’Neal has lots of respect for Gobert and is just trying to get him to play at an even higher level than he has been the past couple of seasons.
Throughout his career, Gobert has established himself as one of the best defenders in the league, having won three Defensive Player of the Year awards. He was a finalist for the award this season, but Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart wound up winning it.
The French national has also been named an All-Star a total of three times during his time in the NBA. He was drafted near the end of the first round in the 2013 NBA Draft and has developed nicely for the Jazz.
As many fans know, O’Neal had a very storied career. He is a 15-time All-Star, three-time NBA Finals MVP, two-time scoring champ and one-time MVP. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.
Given that O’Neal last played in the league during the 2010-11 season and doesn’t seem to be in playing shape anymore, a matchup between the two big men will likely only exist in the minds of fans.
However, it’s certainly fun for fans to speculate about who would win in a hypothetical contest.