After his awkward post-game interview with Donovan Mitchell following Utah’s 129-118 victory over the Pelicans, Shaquille O’Neal’s “constructive criticism” and its delivery became the hot topic in the NBA.
It also sparked a broader conversation about, at times over the top fault-finding directed from former players to those playing today and how it tends to produce a sensitive reaction with the latter. Kevin Durant and LeBron James were the loudest among active players, emphasizing the difference between hating and providing constructive criticism, hinting that Shaq mostly does the first under the guise of the second.
And it’s true — O’Neal’s words are hard to characterize as benevolent. From his weeks-long back and forth with Rudy Gobert to his attempt to bring down the Jazz’ star guard, Shaq’s bitterness towards today’s generation of NBA players is evident, and he wastes no time dishing it out. The only problem is, the Hall of Famer has proven once again he can’t take it.
In a series of troll-posts directed at Diesel, one photo, in particular, stuck out. It’s a photoshopped image of Mitchell dunking on O’Neal in the Heat uniform, made by an Instagram user @calcoscoped.
The post obviously struck a nerve with Shaq since he decided to DM the author with some “constructive criticism” for what he showed in the picture.
What makes Shaq’s reaction even worse is the fact he did the same thing at the very beginning of his back and forth with Gobert. O’Neal posted a photo of himself dunking on Rudy with a caption, “I would had 45 pts 16 rebound ten missed free throws in three quarters. He woulda had 11 pts four rebounds and fouled out in 3 quarters. I’m a G.“
Well, G, If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out. This is just embarrassing and way below the level of basketball player you once were.