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Lakers great Shaquille O’Neal throws shade at Rudy Gobert’s $205 million contract

NBA, Jazz, Lakers, shaquille o'neal, rudy gobert

Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal often chimes in with his thoughts and opinions on the modern NBA and its stars thanks to his primary role on “Inside the NBA” on TNT. Many of O’Neal’s comments disparage the modern NBA’s softness as well as the belief that his abilities still far surpass those of the big men in today’s league.

Along those same lines, O’Neal was quoted via the “All Things Covered” podcast saying that Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz did not deserve the massive extension he received this offseason.

“I’m not gonna hate, but this should be an inspiration to all the little kids out there,” O’Neal stated. “You average 11 points in the NBA, you can get $200 million.”

 

Of course, while it is true that Gobert is not the most prolific scorer, and he cannot necessarily produce his own offense—that is to say his offense is almost always dependent on passes from others or offensive rebounds and tip-ins—it cannot be denied that Gobert is the premier defensive center in the NBA today—as two Defensive Player of the Year awards will attest.

He completely transforms other teams’ offenses when he is on the court, and even Gobert’s presence in the paint acts as a deterrent for opposing offensive players driving to the rim.

Of course, O’Neal was no slouch in the defense department himself, as he was named to the All-Defensive team three times during an era in which defense was far more stout (and violent) than it is in today’s NBA. His all-around game helped win the Lakers three titles.

Still though, Shaq’s “criticisms” can come off as petty, and this one certainly seems to fit that bill.