Shaquille O’Neal Makes Honest Statement on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s Antics Following Celtics Sweep: “You Can Never Say They Got No Championship”

Published 05/01/2022, 5:30 PM EDT

Shaquille ‘O Neal, the legendary Lakers center knows a thing or two about being a champion. He won a three-peat with the Lakers from 2000 to 02 and then again won an NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. He also won three NBA Finals MVPs for his efforts with the Lakers and ably supported Dwyane Wade during Heat’s run to the championship.

 

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During his recent podcast episode, when a fellow host questions how KD and Kyrie reacted to the Nets getting swept, Shaq had a straight -forward reaction. He said” They don’t have a monkey on their back. Doesn’t matter what happens. If they retire now, you can never say they got no championships. That’s all we care about.” 

KD and Kyrie’s rings

Kyrie was the first overall pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2011 NBA Draft. But he had no playoff success till 2014. It all changed when LeBron James came back to Cleveland and it made them an instant contender. After losing the 2015 NBA Finals to the Warriors in part because of injuries, the Cavaliers finally won the NBA championship in 2016. They won the series in an epic fashion by becoming the first team in NBA history to overturn a 3-1 deficit in the finals.

Kevin Durant‘s path to his two championships was a little more complicated. After relinquishing a 3-1 series lead to the Warriors in the playoff. He faced off against the LeBron led Cavaliers twice in 2017 and 2018 and won both the meetings, also winning the Finals MVP both the times. But Durant never had a enriching time with the Warriors and left them in free agency for the Nets in 2019.

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Not a good time in Brooklyn till now

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Even though both the superstars came to Brooklyn on their own accord, things haven’t been exactly great for them. The pressure to win a title has been immense ever since they came to New York. They lost their first year together because of injuries.

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Last year they lost the eventual champion Bucks in a closely contested seven-game series. But the pressure will only increase for them. Ever since their last championships, both have been battling the narrative of not winning a ring on their own.

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Mar 29, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) high fives guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Barclays Center. The Nets defeated the Pistons 130-123. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the Boston sweep being seen as another post-season failure, it is up to KD and Kyrie to rise to the challenge. They certainly have the talent to do so. Do they have the mental fortitude to rise above the pressure we will see in the near future?

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Nirjhar Sharma

80 articles

Nirjhar Sharma is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a sports enthusiast who follows all major sports and has been watching the NBA for the past 7 years now. A firm believer in the 'Greek Freak' being the best player in the league right now, he believes that the Bucks are primed for another championship run unless the injury bug bites them.

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