What Was The Reason Behind The Infamous Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard Feud?

Published 02/08/2021, 12:13 PM EST


There are some very popular feuds amongst players in the NBA but one which is not as popular but quite intense is one of Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard. On many occasions, Shaq has made it very evident that he isn’t fond of Dwight. But after what seemed like an end to a very long unnecessary feud, Shaq once again made some brutal comments about Dwight winning the NBA Championship with the Lakers last season.

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What ignited the Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard rivalry?

Well, if anyone said that their beef started over the name ‘Superman’, nobody would believe it. But yes, that’s exactly what started all the jabs over the years. When Shaq was a rookie in 1992 with the Orlando Magic, the Orlando Arena used to display the Superman logo every time he made one of his incredible dunks. And that was quite often.

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In fact, it also made sense because his name starts with ‘S’ and he also has the superman logo tattooed on his arm. Then, years later, when Dwight ended up being the center for Magic, he liked calling himself Superman. Howard went as far as wearing a red cape during a dunk contest.

The constant repugnance

Through the years, both of them haven’t missed an opportunity in taking shots at each other. Back in 2011, Howard even stated that it was Penny Hardaway because of whom he knew about the Orlando Magic. That’s definitely got to sting for Shaq.

Then when Dwight Howard, had his first stint with the Lakers in 2012, that had Shaq and Kobe, Shaq called Brook Lopez a better center than Howard. Although, he later clarified that this was his way of motivating Dwight. The constant slamming did not stop, even on comedy shows or in rap albums.

In 2019, when Kobe pinpointed that they could have won more titles if Shaq would have worked harder, Shaq found a way to drag Dwight into that conversation too.

The end? Not so easily…

However, when Dwight played for the Lakers in the 2019-20 season, he proved to be a great asset for them. So, surprisingly, Shaq said that he was proud of him. But it was quite obvious that all these years of bitterness won’t go so fast, and that’s exactly what happened.

Just months later when the Lakers on the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat, Howard was all over Instagram celebrating his feat. But Shaw did not like that. On ‘The Big Podcast with Shaw’ he stated, “You know what I don’t like as a player? It’s a lot of (Lakers) players on their little Instagram bragging like they were the reasons they got the championship.”

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“I ain’t gon’ say no names. I know you know who I’m talking about. Stop it. Frontrunner. Bandwagon jumper. Stop it. Post one pic and sit your a– down.” It is quite evident who he is pointing fingers at. It is safe to say that this probably won’t be the last time we witness the two going at each other’s throats.

Oct 2, 2020; Orlando, Florida, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) celebrates with forward Anthony Davis (3) after a play against the Miami Heat during the first quarter in game two of the 2020 NBA Finals at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

 

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Yashima Bhatia

1189 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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