Dwight Howard is having a grand time in Taiwan, showing off that he still has what it takes to perform at a high level. However, he caught wind of Shaquille O'Neal's reaction to his dominance in the T1 League and responded to the "disrespect" through an Instagram Live session.
"Stop hating," Howard said, addressing O'Neal. "I saw a video of you talking about me playing basketball in Taiwan, and I'm playing at the Life Time Fitness League. Do not disrespect my teammates and this league and these people in Taiwan like that. That is highly disrespectful, and it's hating. And you too old to be hating. You too big to be hating."
Shaq's earlier statement
The fact that O'Neal dislikes Howard is widely known around the Association. So, it didn't come as a surprise for the retired legendary big man to express that he's unimpressed with the 36-year-old's monster debut in the T1 League.
"He's supposed to have 30 points playing against a dude 5'8," Shaq said on a recent podcast episode. "Good job. This league reminds me of a Life Time Fitness league every Saturday when I go workout on Saturday. Great job, Dwight. I'm proud of you."
While O'Neal is known for occasionally teasing and even insulting Howard, Howard may have thought that the "Big Diesel" crossed the line by likening the Taiwanese professional basketball league to a rec league for amateurs.
Defending his teammates and the league
Howard's message ran for several minutes and touched on a few more subjects, such as O'Neal supposedly almost costing JaVale McGee his entire NBA career for always making fun of him in the past.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year also asked if Shaq could've similarly dominated a lesser-known league or stayed in shape in his 37th year. It should be noted that while O'Neal wasn't in his best shape at that age, he was still playing in the NBA and contending for a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But Howard made it clear in his IG session that a huge reason he was responding was to defend his teammates and the T1 League.
"I'm not letting the haters win," the eight-time NBA All-Star continued. "I'm not mad. I'm passionate about the stuff that I say. This man called my teammates and this league sorry, basically. He called us a Life Time Fitness league. This ain't no Life Time Fitness league. It's dudes here that are taller than me. Everybody's [dream and goal is to make it to the NBA], and everybody not going to make it to the NBA. But we don't need people hating on other people because they're not there."
It will be interesting to see if O'Neal responds further, but for Howard, hopefully, he can get rid of the distractions and focus on helping his team out.