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JaVale McGee’s true thoughts about Lakers icon Shaq, who ruined his reputation

Suns, Lakers, Shaquille O'Neal, JaVale McGee

New Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee didn’t have the best relationship with Los Angeles Lakers icon Shaquille O’Neal, but he has nothing but respect for Shaq the basketball player.

In his interview with Shannon Sharpe on Club Shay Shay, McGee revealed his Top 4 players of all time. After mentioning Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan and Allen Iverson, the former Lakers center names Shaq–of course to the surprise of everyone.

It’s easy to see where JaVale McGee is coming from. Shaq was an unstoppable beast during his prime, which is why he’s often considered the most dominant player to ever set foot on the NBA hardwood. However, what makes the pick surprising is the relationship between the two.

For those not in the know, Shaq has been the biggest critic of McGee, which all started with O’Neal’s “Shaqtin’ a Fool” show that pokes fun at players’ blunders. JaVale even earned the “Shaqtin’ a Fool” MVP label multiple times to the point that the Lakers great seemed to be picking on him.

In the same interview with Sharpe, McGee revealed how Shaq hurt his reputation with the show, with coaches saying they had a different “mental review” of him because of it.

“The thing about that whole Shaqtin’ a Fool era of when I was on there is I didn’t realize what it was doing to my career until I got started to move on to other teams,” McGee said.”

“And I would talk to other coaches and middle of the year they’d be like ‘I’ve always seen that Shaqtin’ a Fool stuff and had a different mental review and I never knew like you’re a smart kid. You’re extremely vocal, you’re a great basketball player.'”

With that said, it’s interesting to see McGee pick the former Lakers big man in his Top 4. It’s certainly a classy gesture as well that shows how much respect JaVale has to one of his biggest critics.