Shaquille O’Neal is not a stranger to moving from team to team and leaving behind trusted teammates. So he had some idea of what might be going on between the Golden State Warriors’ forward, Kevin Durant and his former teammate when he was with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook.
When Fox Sports asked O’Neal what his take on the Durant and Westbrook situation, he spoke about his own past experiences when he left the Orlando Magic to go to the Los Angeles Lakers where he later won three championships.
“I’ve been in a similar situation. Probably due to lack of communication. I can understand what Russell’s going through.” O’Neal told Fox Sports. “I did the same thing to Penny [Anfernee Hardaway] when I signed in L.A.”
In the interview with Fox Sports, O’Neal gave his opinion on where the problem probably stemmed from, and it was as simple as a lack of communicating.
“Me, I felt there was no need to call anybody and tell them what I was doing, and I’m sure Penny was hurt by that.” O’Neal continued. “I’m sure that’s what it is. And then Russell’s probably saying, ‘You was my man, but you go to the team that beat us, and you don’t even call me to tell me?’ So it’s just a lack of communication.”
When O’Neal was asked if the move from Orlando to Los Angeles strained relations with Penny Hardaway, the former center, and four-time NBA champion thought there wasn’t any need for such things.
“No. I felt I didn’t need to. People make their own decisions based on how they feel.” O’Neal said about his time after leaving the Magic.
O’Neal does think that Westbrook and Durant will remain friends in the end.
“They were always friends and always tight and always played together. But one lack of communication can cause everything.” O’Neal said.