Shaquille O’Neal and Warriors center JaVale McGee, who are perpetually beefing over McGee’s appearances on Shaqtin’ A Fool, spent the wee hours of the morning arguing on Twitter. This afternoon, the more prominent members of the Warriors came to McGee’s defense, while the team reportedly complained to Turner Sports about Shaq’s malicious on-air trolling.
Steve Kerr said that Shaq’s relentless “over the top” mockery of McGee has negatively affected his career. He said that before he coached McGee, he had a “preconceived notion” of the sort of player that McGee would be that turned out to be “totally false.”
Kevin Durant was far more adversarial, challenging the characterization of McGee as soft or lazy, and attacking Shaq for being a big baby who couldn’t make his free throws.
Here’s the bit about Shaq:
Shaq was a shitty free throw shooter, he missed dunks, he airballed free throws, he couldn’t shoot outside the paint. He was bigger than everyone, didn’t have no skill, bigger and stronger than everyone. Still a great player, but you had your flaws as a player and you played on five or six teams, too. So it’s not like he’s just some perfect center. You had your flaws, too. I didn’t know cops could go on Twitter and threaten civilians like that. I’m glad JaVale challenged him.
While that’s not an entirely accurate summation of Shaq’s game, it’s a far more charitable reading of his game than the one that Shaq repeatedly gives McGee.
ESPN also reported this afternoon that the Warriors reached out to Turner Sports regarding Shaq’s persistent McGee bashing. Per ESPN, the Warriors contend that Shaq is doing undue harm to McGee’s reputation and career prospects:
Sources told ESPN that the Warriors contacted Turner officials to express concern about TNT’s yearslong McGee coverage on the “Shaqtin’ a Fool” segment on the popular “Inside The NBA” show, with the team contending that the ongoing negative portrayal of the veteran center is doing unnecessary damage to McGee’s reputation.
Update, 6:16 p.m. EST: Shaq has responded, telling KD to can it.