Shaquille O’Neal’s career after basketball is almost as known and talked about as his playing days. Back in the day, he was a force in the paint, while, nowadays, he is known as one of the more critical and harsh basketball analysts, especially when talking about young players and big men. Shaq is a vital part of the Inside the NBA crew on TNT, but lately, he has been labeled a “hater” and “oversensitive” because of his recent comments.
Dwyane Wade and Gilbert Arenas recently talked on the No Chill podcast as they explored various interesting topics. They touched on the Shaq situation and offered their take, giving the benefit of the doubt to O’Neil and understanding where he is coming from. Arenas seems to think it is all mind games:
“He comes from an era where the “Jedi,” the reverse psychology is how you push a player, and that’s Shaq.”Gilbert Arenas via No Chill
As Shaq’s former teammate and part-time guest with the NBA on the TNT crew, Wade has a good understanding of where Shaq is coming from. He looked at it from his personal angle and talked about how it is hard to comment on a game or a player and not be labeled a “hater” if you point out somebody not performing good enough, using the situation between Charles Barkley and Draymond Green as an example:
“I had to explain this to Draymond about Charles. Charles said some stuff about Draymond; Draymond don’t like it. I was like, well, It’s kind of our job to sit back and watch you all play. And if I watch Draymond play, and Draymond you got zero points, one rebound, two assists, it’s my job to come on TV and talk about that, oh matter of fact you had two techs, it’s my job to now to come on and talk about that. That’s my job. But it depends on how it is delivered. It can come off as hating or not.”Dwyane Wade via No Chill
Both Wade and Arenas made some constructive and good points about this topic, as it opened a discussion if fans were too hard on Shaq or if the backlash he received was well deserved. In the end, the new and old generation will have to meet halfway. Current stars have to understand where Shaq, Charles, and their generation is coming from, and the retired guys have to accept players are playing in a different league today.