Is it a beef … or not? Probably more just a New Year’s bit of entertainment and some mild trash-talking. We’re talking about how Shaquille O’Neal has been speaking out (through podcasts and social media) on his opinions on Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert being awarded a huge $205 million dollar contract extension.
Talking with various sports reporters and websites in the past few days, Gobert says there’s no beef between him and Shaq. As for O’Neal, he started the ball rolling with comments on a recent edition of the All Things Covered podcast.
On the podcast, Shaq told listeners; “I’m not gonna hate, but this should be an inspiration to all the little kids out there. You average 11 points in the NBA, you can get $200 million.”
Since then, the former Lakers star posted a photoshopped image on social media, showing a Shaq dunk over Gobert. The NBA Hall of Famer spoke out about Gobert’s five-year, $205 million extension while on the podcast, criticizing the 28-year-old’s production on the court.
From there, the former Los Angeles Laker posted an edit of himself playing against Gobert on Instagram. Shaq’s caption: “I would had 45 pts 16 rebound ten missed free throws in three quarters. He woulda had 11 pts four rebounds and fouled out in 3 quarters. I’m a G.”
As for Gobert, the Jazz center says there’s actually no animosity at all. He’s responded to the pic post with a simple comment: “I guess we’ll never know.” The comments come complete with laughing emojis.
Gobert said on Twitter, “There is no beef. If people wanna keep speaking negatively about me or keep discrediting what i do it’s on them and all that does is show who they are. I will always be happy for a brother beating the odds. And i’m gonna keep beating the odds.”
As for Gobert himself, it’s been a so-so start to the new NBA season. He’s averaging 14.5 points per game for the Jazz.
So… no beef? We’ll see how long these comments last, and if Shaq has anything to say in response before we declare this back-and-forth over.