“Stop Making Excuses”: Shaquille O’Neal Firmly Disagrees With Co-Host’s Analysis of Clippers Situation Post-Harden Trade

Published 11/14/2023, 7:46 PM EST

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It is the gift that keeps on giving. Because of the multiple storylines branching from it, the James Harden trade will remain a talking point. Whether it be the fate of the Philadelphia 76ers or the situation with the LA Clippers, every match will bring its discourse. So, with the results from both sides trending in the same direction, questions about the trade are already flying high. While people try to measure their response and point to specific reasons, Shaquille O’Neal is having none of it.

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For O’Neal, it is about results. Every other reason feels like an “excuse”.

Shaquille O’Neal needs results

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After starting off the season as well as they could, Los Angeles was quick to pull the trigger on the Harden trade. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George finally playing in back-to-backs, the move was a surefire bet to bolster the roster.

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However, after a strong start, the team has been in free fall. Since Harden came to the team, they haven’t won a single game. The team hit rock bottom after losing to the worst team in the league – the Memphis Grizzlies (2-8).

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But, Kenny “The Jet” Smith was willing to give the experiment some more time. “I mean, the guy didn’t play pre-season games.” When Charles Barkley was unwilling to buy that as the only reason, Smith went to another. “Expectations…The sample size, first of all, is not large enough to value someone after his first 4 games.”

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He brought the point to O’Neal. “If I evaluated Shaq after his first 4 times on the show, I’d have been like kick him off. But, we’re not. We didn’t, and he’s a great addition.” The Los Angeles Lakers, legend, however, was done with the discourse.

Can we stop making excuses? A team with Kawhi, James [PG, and Russell Westbrook] cannot lose 4 games in a row. It’s not gonna work. Too many people want the ball.”

Unfortunately, those results continue to build momentum. Facing off against the defending champions, the Clippers lost once again.

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Is the James Harden trade a failure?

Due to the explosion of Tyrese Maxey in Philadelphia, the issues continue to compound for Harden. Once again, the Clippers were in a close battle against their opponent. Once again, as Charles would predict, the team would resort to isolation-heavy attempts.

As a result, the pass-heavy Denver Nuggets could overcome the Clippers’ barrage. Despite missing Jamal Murray, the Nuggets through teaaam play were able to beat LA. With another loss in the books and the 76ers thriving, what is the outlook for Harden?

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And, is Shaquille O’Neal right?

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Written by:

Priyanshu

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My earliest memories of a connection to basketball was through its popularity in my school. Eventually, that gave way to a genuine passion for the sport and the rest, is history. Whether it be gameplay, the tactics, the narratives, or the sheer art on display, the game speaks to me in a way few other things can.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair

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