It’s been nearly two weeks, and the dust around the Lakers‘ title run is slowly settling. The whole hype window being shorter than usual is once again due to pandemic, as even the Lakers’ championship parade has been put on hold. But their Instagram accounts haven’t.
We’re in ’20 – social media bragging has become a go-to. No matter the channel, players use their platforms to celebrate their achievements and give fans an insight into everything that’s going on post-championship. For ’20 NBA champions, the on-court leadership transferred to social media, as LeBron James remains the team’s biggest ‘influencer,’ with his gloating still ongoing. However, that’s about it in terms of the basketball pecking order transferring to social media platforms. After the unmatched influencer that is The King, the next biggest clout is by less impactful on-court performers – something Shaquille O’Neal isn’t a fan of.
Now, it’s obvious who Shaq is talking about. It’s Dwight Howard. That, in and of itself, is ignorant, given Superman’s role with the team and his history with the Lakers organization. But Diesel can’t help himself. His frustration towards Howard is piling up ever since he preempted the nickname ‘Superman.’ Since then, Shaq doesn’t turn down the opportunity to take a dig at the fellow center, even if it comes in a form of poorly conceived criticism of a collective.
But whether he’s referring to Dwight, Kuzma, JR, Caruso, or any other role-player for that matter, Shaq’s bitterness is uncalled-for. One’s basketball impact doesn’t condition the level of emotion to be felt, nor the number of social media posts to be published. You know this, Shaq. You’ve won championships. It isn’t about the O’Brien itself. It’s about the journey of getting there.
Each of these guys had a unique way to their NBA ring, and them being happy and proud about it is the culmination of all the hard work and sacrifices it took for them to get there. Plus, the social media activity at this point is almost a personality trait. Some guys are more active, some guys are less. Like Anthony Davis for example. The guy’s been the Lakers’ second-best player. But social-media wise, he’s one of their least active ones. Should he get criticized for it?
No one should. So don’t be bitter, Shaq. It’s uncalled-for. Let the guys celebrate their success in whatever way they see fit. And if you don’t like it, there’s this thing called an ‘unfollow.’ Save yourself from your own indignation. Try it.