Shaq doubles down on Donovan Mitchell criticism with message to haters
Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal is not backing down from his criticism of Utah Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell.
O’Neal posted an Instagram collage with some of the best guards he shared the floor with over the course of his career, including Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton, Steve Nash, and Dwyane Wade. Shaq said he does not need to explain himself because of his pedigree as a player:
“This is what greatness at the guard position looks like. I played with the best ever-to do it,” O’Neal stated. “You know I know what best look like. #donthavetohate. Y’all kno I got G14 classification to say what I say.”
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The four-time NBA champion received some backlash from current players after he had a rather strange interaction with Mitchell.
O’Neal said he was enamored with “Spida” and his game following Utah’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans last week, but also asked Mitchell to comment on his belief the All-Star guard cannot get to the next level. Mitchell appeared quite taken aback.
O’Neal’s comments came under fire from Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and Shaq’s former teammate, LeBron James.
Both guys suggested the “old heads” let the new generation show improve, with James noting there is a difference between constructive criticism and what he labeled as “soft hate.”
— Rod Bridgers (@rod_bridgers) January 22, 2021
But O’Neal has never been one to shy away or mince words. He feels his track record allows him to speak freely about the game.
Mitchell will hope winning is the answer to these criticisms. The former Louisville star has helped Utah to a 13-4 start, and the Jazz are hungry to make a leap in the Western Conference.