“I Only See [This] in Bruce Willis’ Die Hard”: Shaquille O’Neal Unequivocally Laments the “Timing” of Brittney Griner’s Detention in Russia

Published 08/07/2022, 12:00 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 14: Shaquille O’Neal attends the ESPN Gala: “30 For 30: This Magic Moment” Screening during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)

Shaquille O’Neal expressed his thoughts on the recent developments in the Brittney Griner situation in his podcast. The Big Diesel also revealed his disapproval of the way the Russians are using the WNBA star as a pawn to extract a good deal out of the United States. In fact, Shaquille O’Neal provided a ‘Die Hard’ analogy to explain the diabolical actions of the Russian authorities.

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In the most recent episode of his Big Podcast, Shaq reacted to the sentencing of Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner. Griner’s ongoing trial for possession of illicit drugs recently concluded with a nine-year sentence by the Russian courts. Before the verdict, the 31-year-old hooper had already pleaded guilty to the charges brought against her.

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As it turns out, Shaquille O’Neal thinks that the Russians have duped Griner to create a favorable situation for themselves. In other words, the Lakers legend condemned Moscow for using an American citizen as a bargaining chip to broker a prisoner exchange deal with America.

Shaquille O’Neal provides a ‘Die Hard’ analogy to explain the Brittney Griner situation

Shaquille O’Neal provided a ‘Die Hard’ analogy to explain the complicated geopolitics surrounding the whole Brittney Griner affair. In fact, he compared the Russian government with the bad guys in the action movie series trying to extract something from the lead character.

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 06: Shaquille O’Neal appears to promote “Toys for Tots” during the AOL BUILD Series at AOL HQ on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)

I see stuff going on now that I only see in Bruce Willis’ Die Hard movies,” said the four-time NBA champion.

I’ll give you Brittney back if you give me back the number one arms dealer ever!” he added. And then followed up with a movie-like burst of villainous laughter.

In his analogy, Shaq was referring to the Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout. Media reports have floated the name of Bout as a potential option in a prisoner exchange deal for Brittney Griner. The arms dealer is currently serving a 25-year-sentence in an American prison.

Shaq wishes the best for Brittney Griner

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In the meantime, Shaq wished the best for Brittney Griner in her plight. “I hope somehow they figure a way to get her out,” he said.

As of now, Washington is working tirelessly to broker a deal with Moscow to bring the 2014 WNBA champion home. A possible prisoner exchange is on the cards.

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However, Kremlin hasn’t confirmed any probable deal yet.

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Satagni Sikder

373 articles

Satagni Sikder is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He has a Master's degree in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and has been following the NBA since 2017. Moreover, he supports the Dallas Mavericks, and unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic is his favorite player.

Edited By: Pritam Priyedarshi

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