Skip to main content

"Prove me wrong" - how Kareem influenced Shaq's criticism of today's NBA players


Joel Embiid gets it. When Shaquille O'Neal called him out for playing soft, the Sixers superstar didn't whine about it. He used it as motivation, knowing the Hall of Famer had his best interest in mind.

When all those guys, Shaq, Charles [Barkley], they just kept talking about how dominant I could be, I understood. They saw the talent. They saw what I could really do. But I wasn’t using it. I wasn’t doing it. So when they were criticizing me, I just saw it as a way to kinda open my eyes and actually be better.

Joel Embiid, Stadium

O'Neal's intentions were the same when he "dissed" Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and James Harden. One can argue about how his messages are being delivered, but it's always done in good faith to light a fire under those who need it.

Steph Curry didn't need it. The Warriors superstar always had the fire. But Shaq, like many others, doubted his play style. Especially early in his career - no one believed you could win a title by shooting a bunch of threes. So what did Steph do? He shot his way to 2 MVPs, 3 NBA championships, and an all-time great NBA resume, proving everyone wrong. And that's exactly what Diesel wants.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

I like being proved wrong. So my message to these young cats, when I say something, prove me wrong.

Shaquille O'Neal, All The Smoke

A while back, O'Neal was a young cat. And he was dominant, but his numbers didn't translate to wins. Shaq had some success with the Magic - they reached the NBA Finals in '95 - but he got to a slow start wearing the Lakers uniform. And if you think no one called him out for it, you're wrong.

When Kareem was doing all that talking, I said, 'you're right Mr. Abdul-Jabbar, I'm not winning, I appreciate it.' I called my father; he was like, 'motherfu*ker, he right. You ain't doing sh*t. You've been in LA four years and got swept four times in a row. You out there doing videos and rap songs and sh*t, you ain't doing nothing.'

Shaquille O'Neal, All The Smoke

Shaq got his act together, leading the Lakers to three straight championships in the early '00s alongside Kobe Bryant. Now, two decades later, he credits Kareem for it, doing the same thing Jabbar had done to him.

So far, O'Neal's efforts bore fruit with Embiid. Curry as well. As far as everyone else the Hall of Famer criticized, they are yet to prove him wrong.

Kevin Durant blasts Philly fans for their chants towards Ben Simmons

Should the Brooklyn Nets regret trading for Kevin Durant?

The Durant-Irving partnership in Brooklyn could arguably go down as the most disappointing one in NBA history.

Detroit Pistons legend Rick Mahorn and Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller on who he hated facing on the bad boy Pistons — “He ​​had a crazy look in his eye all the time”

There’s a reason why Miller's most feared Pistons player was dubbed as the “Baddest Bad Boy of them all.”

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan and guard Manu Ginobili

"I lost a lot of sleep because of him" — Chauncey Billups reveals who deserved to win the 2005 NBA Finals MVP

Tim Duncan won the 2005 NBA Finals MVP. But Chauncey Billups, as well as some fans, believed the trophy belonged to someone else.

Michael Jordan

Beer drones — the best feature on Michael Jordan's exclusive golf course

Do you want to be a member of the exclusive The Grove XXIII club? Michael Jordan has to invite you first.


Miles Bridges' wife exposes him for domestic violence

The NBA community needs to to better. ”I won’t be silent to protect others anymore because I value myself and my kids more than anyones ‘image’”


“The whole NBA just saw this movie” — Zach Lowe shuts down the idea the Lakers could trade for KD and Kyrie

According to the numbers the trade works. Can you count anything out in the modern NBA?

Jaylen Brown responds to Draymond Green's comments

Jaylen Brown fires back at Draymond Green: "Draymond got a podcast and lost his damn mind"

Draymond Green claimed he knew that the Boston Celtics were already defeated mentally after Jaylen Brown's statements. The Celtics forward had something to say to Green on his Twitter.

Tom Brady to Anthony Edwards - “I know the money is good but you’re playing the wrong sport”

Tom Brady to Anthony Edwards -“I know the money is good but you’re playing the wrong sport”

Edwards responded that since Brady’s friend and teammates Rob Gronkowski retired this offseason, maybe he could help fill his void