UTAH JAZZ

Shaquille O’Neal On Donovan Mitchell: ‘He Great, But He Ain’t That Great’

Jan 29, 2021, 11:35 AM

Donovan Mitchell (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)...

Donovan Mitchell (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal tried to explain his controversial comments about Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, but may have doubled down on his less than flattering remarks.

During the Jazz January 21 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, O’Neal offered Mitchell criticism that read like more of an insult than a compliment.

“I said tonight that you are one of my favorite players but you don’t have what it takes to get to the next level. I said it on purpose. I wanted you to hear it,” O’Neal told Mitchell. “What do you have to say about that?”

“Aight,” the Jazzman responded.

“That’s it?” O’Neal asked.

“That’s it,” Mitchell said. “I’ve been hearing that since my rookie year. You know, I’m just going to get better and do what I do.”

In a conversation with Yahoo Sports LaJethro Jenkins, O’Neal elaborated on his statement.

“When I came at Donovan, the only thing I wanted to hear him say was, ‘Okay OG, watch what I do next,'” O’Neal explained. “I just be like, he great, but he ain’t that great.”

O’Neal told Jenkins he was just trying to read Mitchell’s “temperature” when presented with the opinion, hoping he’d respond with improved play.

Mitchell is averaging 25.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.8 assists over his last nine games with the Jazz. He’s connecting on 48 percent of his field-goal attempts and 46 percent of his three-point shots.

O’Neal also explained that the controversy may have been born out of how he delivered his critique, rather thatn the critique itself.

“Instead of listening to how I say it, just listen to what I say,” O’Neal said.

Mithell missed the Jazz last outing with concussion-like symptoms. He remains questionable for Friday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Collin-Sexton-Utah-Jazz-NBA...

Kyle Ireland

Utah Jazz Guard Collin Sexton Launches ‘Always More’ Docuseries

Collin Sexton launched an original docuseries to give fans "an exclusive behind-the-scenes look as I explore what Utah has to offer."

22 hours ago

Walker-Kessler-Utah-Jazz-NBA-Media-Day...

Chandler Holt

Walker Kessler Asks Nikola Jokic Questions At NBA Finals Media Day

Ahead of game two of the 2023 NBA Finals, Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler attended media day to ask Nikola Jokic some questions.

2 days ago

Ausar Thompson speaks with the media during the NBA Draft Combine at the Wintrust Arena on May 17, ...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Post Combine 2023 NBA Mock Draft Roundup

The Utah Jazz will be selecting ninth overall in the 2023 NBA draft, but the player they’ll select varies widely with each mock draft.

3 days ago

Marquette coach Utah Jazz Salt Lake City Stars Steve Wojciechowski...

Chandler Holt

Salt Lake City Stars Hire Marquette’s Steve Wojciechowski As Next Head Coach

The Utah Jazz's G League affiliate Salt Lake City Stars have brought on Marquette's Steve Wojciechowski to be the team's next head coach.

3 days ago

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...

Ben Anderson

Does Nuggets, Heat Finals Offer Championship Hope To Jazz?

Can the Utah Jazz replicate the championship blueprint that the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat have used to reach the NBA Finals?

4 days ago

Utah Jazz Playoff Buzzer-Beaters...

Chandler Holt

Best Playoff Buzzer-Beaters In Utah Jazz History

Game six of the East Finals ending in dramatic fashion inspired us to go back to the best playoff buzzer-beaters in Jazz history.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

jimmy-buffett-tour-art...

KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

Shaquille O’Neal On Donovan Mitchell: ‘He Great, But He Ain’t That Great’