NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has been slammed after one of the more cringe-worthy interviews in recent memory.
Speaking to the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell after he led his side to a 129-118 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
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It was the Jazz’s seventh straight win and Mitchell dropped a game-high 36 points.
But regardless, when Mitchell joined the NBA on TNT team post-match, O’Neal went straight for the star.
“I said tonight that you are one of my favourite players but you don’t have what it takes to get to the next level,” he started. “I said it on purpose because I wanted you to hear it. What do you have to say about that?”
Mitchell appeared to be somewhat taken aback about the conversation.
“Aight … that’s it.” he responded before expanding. “I’ve been hearing that since my rookie season. I’m just going to keep doing what I do.”
Shaq responded: “That’s what I wanted to hear you say, love your game brother, keep it up.”
It was a super awkward exchange with the NBA taking aim at the legendary player.
Mitchell’s teammate Mike Conley was perplexed by the swipe.
“I’ve been a big fan of Don’s and seeing the way he’s grown, even before he was here,” he said. “I don’t know how you can make a statement like that regarding his progress at such a young age. He’s gotten better every year.”
LEBRON’S STILL GOT IT
LeBron James scored a season-high 34 points as the Los Angeles Lakers won their eighth straight road game with a 113-106 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.
But it was a moment late in the game that essentially iced the game that showed that the 36-year-old is still one of the best in the game.
At 108-103, LeBron got the ball and shot a step back three from deep, calling it into the basket.
It was a brilliant moment and had the commentators shocked but not surprised.
The victory opened a seven-game road trip for the NBA champion Lakers, who are hoping this is the beginning of another win streak.
They had a five-game winning streak snapped in their most recent outing, a 115-113 loss to Golden State.
“Our motivation was not losing two in a row tonight. We were able to get that accomplished,” Anthony Davis said.
James made a key three pointer and capped his night with an emphatic double clutch slam dunk as the Lakers improved to an NBA best 12-4 on the season after Thursday’s gritty performance in Milwaukee.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 23 points and Davis finished with 18 points and nine rebounds in the win. Caldwell-Pope sank seven-of-10 threes as the Lakers went 19-of-37 from three-point range.
The Lakers bottled up reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds but had a career-high nine turnovers.
“We’ve got to keep working, keep playing good basketball for longer periods of time, make shots, defend better, rebound the ball better,” Antetokounmpo said. “Ultimately we’ve got to get better.”
— with AFP
KNICKS STUN CURRY’S WARRIORS
Are the New York Knicks actually good?
There have not been many shining moments for the Knicks against Stephen Curry since the Warriors drafted him in 2009 but this became one of them after the Knicks claimed a 119-104 win over the Warriors.
The stars of the night were RJ Barrett, with his career-high 28 points, and Julius Randle, posting a near triple-double. Not Curry.
“It’s a typical Thibs team,’’ Warriors coach Steve Kerr said beforehand. “Defending like crazy. They’re building a foundation.”
The Knicks continued to build a winning streak that’s now three games after shutting down Curry in the second half and pounding the Warriors in an exhilarating, wire-to-wire victory.
“I don’t think we view ourselves as underdog,’’ Randle said. “We view ourselves as a good team. We have pretty good team confidence.’’
After ransacking the Warriors’ new San Francisco digs, Thibodeau paid homage to Golden State and downplayed his team’s 8-8 mark.
Before this four-game Western trip began, Thibodeau said statistics that showed the Knicks as the league’s best defensive team weren’t important.
The Knicks coach said he just cared about wins, and now his team has three straight blowout triumphs to hang on its trophy wall.
It still wasn’t enough for Thibodeau to bask in his team’s unexpectedly solid start.
“We got a lot of work to do,’’ Thibodeau said. “We can’t feel good. There’s things we’ve done well. We’ve had some good wins. We’ve also had games we could’ve played a lot better in. We have to be honest with ourselves and know there’s a lot of work to be done but we’re improving and doing a lot better.”
Curry has forever haunted the Knicks franchise. The Warriors’ megastar came one slot away from sliding to the eighth pick in ’09, where the Knicks awaited with open arms.
All these years later, the Knicks and their defence finally found a night to savour against Curry.