NBA Analyst Reminds Shaquille O’Neal of His Playing Days Amid Donovan Mitchell Controversy

Published 01/26/2021, 5:49 AM EST
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 18: Shaquille O’Neal arrives ahead of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 18, 2018. (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


In recent years, Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has built a notorious reputation for taking shots at current NBA stars. His usual target were centers, with JaVale McGee, Dwight Howard, and Rudy Gobert being some players he has targeted. Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell recently became the latest player to join this list.

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Former NBA player Raja Bell discussed this incident with The Ringer’s Logan Murdock during a podcast. Bell said that he wanted Mitchell to stand more up to Shaq and say something.

But Murdock brought up an interesting point. He said, “When I was growing up, and Bill Walton was getting on his head and he was the same way. That’s why it’s wild to see Shaq in this position. Because people were saying that about him and he was getting really offended. He was one of those guys that was getting that. So that’s why it’s like Shaq, you should understand.”

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Can Donovan Mitchell prove Shaquille O’Neal wrong?

The Denver Nuggets drafted Mitchell back in 2017 with their #13 pick. But they traded him on Draft Night to the Jazz for the #24 pick and Trey Lyles. Since then, Spida has proved that the Nuggets made a mistake by developing into an explosive scorer. He arrived in the league as a two-way guard, who had the potential to be a scorer, but right from his rookie season, he has been proving everyone wrong.

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Mitchell finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting after averaging 20.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game. Since then, he is constantly improving and made his first All-Star appearance last season.

Jan 19, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) goes to the basket during the second quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Along with Rudy Gobert, he has become the franchise cornerstone for the Jazz. This earned him a five-year extension worth up to $195 million extension in the 2020 off-season. At the moment, Mitchell isn’t good enough to lead the Jazz to a title, but he is improving every year. Back in 2017, 10-time All-Star Chris Paul was asked what is Mitchell’s ceiling. He replied, “He controls it. He’s that good.”

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Mitchell is constantly proving that statement right so far, and if he continues to do so, a title won’t be a faraway dream for him.

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Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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