Shaquille O’Neal Reveals Status of “Beef” With Russell Westbrook After Lakers Game: “I Know He Respects Me”

Published 01/27/2022, 5:30 PM EST
AUSTIN, TX – OCTOBER 14: Shaquille O’Neal Behind the Scenes of American Express Stage at Austin City Limits Festival on October 14, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for American Express)

As one of the NBA’s biggest legends, Shaquille O’Neal often speaks his mind freely about anything related to the NBA. Considering his legendary status, current NBA stars, fans, and analysts maintain the utmost respect for him. Shaq recently revealed the status of his relationship with a current NBA star.

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O’Neal divulged details about his conversation with Los Angeles Lakers star Russell Westbrook on the sidelines of an NBA game. He admitted he was a fan of Westbrook and described how he advised Westbrook on some aspects of his game. Calmly calling on Westbrook to improve his play style, O’Neal asserted the Lakers star respected the veteran.

O’Neal said, “And that’s what happens with online. Why am I having a beef with a man who is doing his job on the court? I’m a fan of Russ, he’s taking a lot of heat right now. Sometimes you need that calm voice that you respect, and I know he respects me.”

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–Lakers Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant celebrate after defeating the 76ers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Philadelphia Wednesday June 13, 2001. (Photo by Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

He added saying, “So I’m watching and I figure out the problem: He’s going too fast. Like when you’re in a situation where everybody wants you to do well, sometimes you just gotta slow down and analyze it. So I’m just telling him, ‘Slow down.’ No, I don’t have beef with players.”

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O’Neal revealed the details of his conversation with Westbrook on ‘The Big Podcast with Shaq‘. Westbrook has endured a thought start to his Lakers career. Lakers fans have partly blamed him for the franchises’ current woes.

Shaquille O’Neal and his short-lived beef with James Harden

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With four NBA titles to his name, Shaq’s opinion certainly holds weight. He once commented on James Harden’s move to the Brooklyn Nets. O’Neal suggested that contrary to Harden’s assertions, the latter had not given his all for the franchise when he played for them.

Shaq explained his position by pointing out how the Rockets try to build a championship contention team around Harden. He asserted that Harden owed an NBA title to the franchise after their efforts.

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However, Harden did not take O’Neal’s words lightly as he uploaded an Instagram story that suggested O’Neal was “putting him down”.

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Shalom Saldanha

260 articles

Shalom Saldanha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his journalism degree, he has previously worked as a sports corresspondent for India Shorts/Business Upturn. A Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks fan, Shalom primarily got into the sport after discovering that he shared a mutual love for Arsenal with the 'Greek Freak'.

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