UTAH JAZZ

Shaq Pays Respect To Gobert For Locked Up Comments

May 10, 2022, 9:43 PM
Shaq-Sitting-Courtside...
NBA Hall of Fame center Shaquille O'Neale (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – After Rudy Gobert and Shaq exchanged jabs over the past few days, O’Neal paid respect to the Utah Jazz center for believing in himself.

In a podcast earlier this week, host Spice Adams told Shaq he thought Gobert would hold him to 12 points if the two players matched up.

O’Neal responded by saying he’d score 12 points in three minutes on Gobert. The Jazz center responded by saying he’d “lock” Shaq up.

In an interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Shaq explained his motivation for provoking Gobert throughout the past week.

“A lot of times when I throw jabs, people think it’s hate or whatever,” Shaq said, “when really, I’m just challenging them.”

According to Rooks, she reached out to Gobert before talking to Shaq and asked if he had anything he’d like her to relay to the Hall of Fame big man before their podcast.

“I don’t have beef with Shaq, he said,” Rooks told O’Neal. “Yes, I do think I could lock him up. I’m never going to look at someone, whoever it is, and say, ‘Yeah, you would score 40 on me.’ That’s not my mentality.”

Shaq also clarified his feelings about guard Donovan Mitchell after the Jazz were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Dallas Mavericks, marking their third empty trip to the postseason in the last four years.

“Donovan Mitchell is a really good player, that don’t even sound right to me,” Shaq said. “It should be Donovan Mitchell is one of the greatest guys ever, that’s what it should be. So my question to people like Donovan is, are you satisfied with being a really good player, or do you want to be great?”

O’Neal and the Jazz All-Stars have had an ongoing conversation dating back to last season when the Laker legend criticized Mitchell and Gobert during a TNT broadcast despite the guard scoring 36 points in a win.

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