Skip to main content

Shaquille O'Neal admits he is jealous but happy for Rudy Gobert

Shaq and Gobert

Former NBA player Shaquille O'Neal received backlash in the last few months because of his constant criticism towards younger NBA players. Shaq was specifically critical of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert after he signed a $200 million extension with the Jazz, which is an astronomical amount for a significant majority of people, even some professional athletes. Gobert is the best defensive center in the NBA right now; however, Shaq initially said he doesn't believe Gobert is worth that type of money. Numerous fans were mad at Shaq, calling him a bitter old man who is unwilling to accept the success of younger players making their way in the league.

In a recent interview for BasketballNews, Shaq touched upon his comments, and now it seems the story is a bit different than a few months ago. He still admits he is jealous, but he is also happy that the younger generation gets that type of money former players could only dream about back in the day. Shaq also debunked the notion that he hates Gobert, which couldn't be far from the truth.

I'm jealous, but I'm happy. "I'm jealous because I always thought that you had to have Michael-Jordan, superb-type numbers to get that type of money. That's what it was in my era, but I'm happy for the kids. Reason why I bring up Rudy Gobert, people think I'm hating, it's not. He's a good big man; I'm used to dealing with great big men, right?"

Shaquille O'Neal, via BasketballNews

Shaq encouraged younger players to model their games after Gobert, whom he considers a great big man. Gobert is a legitimate double-double machine that is great on defense and is quite different from the most centers out there who are focusing on shooting and playing outside of the paint.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

"Rudy Gobert is not the average-type, big-guy NBA player no more. 'Cause the average big they're looking for now is a guy that can pick-and-pop and do whatever. Rudy Gobert's big, tall, plays hard, plays great defense, Defensive Player of the Year, and he's making $200 million. So, all you big guys out there, look at him. Follow him.

Shaquille O'Neal, via BasketballNews

Receiving that type of contract extension was previously only at the disposal for the biggest stars in the NBA, with Shaq being one of them. Now, we are seeing $100 million contracts handed out to players who are not even the first or the second option on a team competing for the playoffs. Gobert is the second or third best player on the Jazz at the moment, and Shaq points out that young players should watch and follow what Gobert is doing because it can land them a life-changing contract that can set you up for the rest of your life.

"You know, you're not gonna be LeBron. You're not gonna be Kobe. You're not gonna be Shaq. You're not gonna be Garnett. But I think there's a lot of big guys even today that can do what he can do. So when I tell the story, people think, 'Oh, you're just jealous.' Yeah, I am jealous he's making $250 (million). One, I'll say I'm jealous. However, for this game of ours, it can motivate a young kid today to keep the NBA going."

Shaquille O'Neal, via BasketballNews

Even though there was a lot of criticism towards Shaq because of his statements about younger players, all the things he said in this interview made absolute sense. He never hated Gobert, but he admits jealousy, which is normal behavior if you are a human being. Young players should definitely look to Gobert as a role model and someone to patent their game around because his impact, especially on Jazz's defensive end, is undeniable. It's also great to see Shaq accepting he made some mistakes when communicating his views on this topic and that he is finally showing respect for Gobert.

Vanessa Bryant revealed how Kobe Bryant was like everyone else

Vanessa Bryant revealed how Kobe Bryant was a normal person like everyone else: "He wipes his own ass too"

Kobe Bryant was a superstar on the court but never acted like one outside of it. This is what endeared him to the fans

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, forward Kevin Durant and guard James Harden

“This has to go down as one of the most epic failures in the history of this league” — Tim Legler shreds the Brooklyn Nets

Two other teams in the modern NBA came to mind as faliures given the talent they had on the roster.

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’”