Former Miami Heat Star Once Brutally Called Out Jake Paul for Avoiding a Fight Against Him

Published 05/22/2022, 8:45 PM EDT
Credits: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Jake Paul is no longer only a YouTube sensation. The 25-year-old man, hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, has become a cultural touchstone. Paul is gradually and methodically taking over the sport of boxing, as his enormous PPV numbers speak for themselves.

No doubt there’s a lengthy queue of individuals who want to knock Paul out, and some who would do it for gratis. Along with the wealth and publicity, the young celebrity has gathered deep-seated hatred from several. Ex-NBA player Kendall Gill is one of those individuals who called Paul out before he demolished retired UFC fighter, Ben Askren. Gill probably viewed Paul as an opportunity to avenge another former basketball player, Nate Robinson.

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Gill has been a lifetime boxing aficionado in addition to his 15-year NBA career. The former NBA player has played for no less than seven teams in his NBA career and shares the record for most steals in an NBA game with 11.

The NBA journeyman literally laced up the gloves and fought in multiple professional fights after he hung up his jersey. The former Miami Heat player has a pristine 4-0 record, with three of his victories being knockouts. Gill now serves as an NBA analyst on Chicago television, but he still hits the boxing gym and continues to stay in great condition.

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At 53, he is still in terrific fighting shape and would likely give Jake Paul the most difficult fight of his young career.

Kendall Gill has been calling out Jake Paul for a while

Kendall Gill has been screaming Jake Paul’s name for a while now, urging Triller to arrange a showdown. In an interview, he revealed that several basketball players had pushed him to fight Jake Paul and knock him out after Nate Robinson fell victim to his knockout.

Jake Paul’s team dismissed the idea, stating that the bout lacked character and substance. Gill took action and enlisted the support of basketball legend and NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal.

Kendall Gill lauded Jake Paul for doing a wonderful job switching from YouTube to boxing and treating the sport seriously in an interview with MMA Fighting. He also stated that whenever Jake Paul tackles someone of quality, his circus would be done.

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“Look, I don’t knock the guy’s hustle. Actually, he’s a genius going from YouTube to boxing and selling 2 million pay-per-view buys last Saturday. He did a great job with the Nate Robinson fight as well as far as stirring up interest. He does take the sport seriously. I can see that he has improved in his skill level… But sooner or later he’s going to have to fight somebody with boxing experience. Then, I think his circus will end.” 

Back in December, in an interview with Fox Sports, Gill once again called out Jake Paul.

I’ve been boxing my whole life and when I retired from basketball, I decided to go ahead and have four pro fights. I give Jake Paul credit, I don’t knock his hustle as far as carving out a niche for himself, but at the press conference I hear him say ‘I’m about to be the next Muhammad Ali.’ I was like ‘hold up, man, you’re going a little bit too far now.’ I think he’s delusional about his place and I really want to fight him to take him apart,” Gill said.

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The ex-NBA player seemed to want all of that smoke. Gill recently launched another stinging attack on Jake Paul, once again accusing the YouTube sensation turned professional boxer of dodging a fight with him.

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Kendall Gill would undoubtedly love dribbling Jake Paul’s skull off the canvas like a basketball. It remains to be seen whether the former NBA player is given the opportunity to face Paul.

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Ritvik Malhotra

103 articles

Ritvik is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Ritvik has finally got his foot in the door as a professional sports writer. He previously interned at another media house where he authored over 150 soccer articles, but he is now writing about his primary obsession, basketball.

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