Recent Los Angeles Lakers acquisition Dwight Howard has finally responded to comments made by former NBA star and current TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal last week in a roundtable discussion that was posted on ESPN.com.
During the dialogue, Shaq, a 4-time NBA champion, was asked his opinion on who is the best center in the league today.
While most fans and analysts would give Howard — who averaged 20.6 points, 14.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest in the 2012 season — the nod for best big man, Shaq had a slightly different outlook.
“Dwight Howard, who’s a pick-and-roll player, some people say he’s the best center in the league … But me, the last true original dundaughta, I’m going with Andrew Bynum and which Lopez? Brook. Brook Lopez.”
For comparison’s sake, Lopez has career averages of 17.4 points and 7.5 rebounds in parts of four NBA seasons. He missed almost all last season with a stress fracture in his right foot. Howard has career averages of 18.4 points and 13 rebounds.
When asked to respond to Shaq’s remarks, Howard didn’t tread lightly, calling the future Hall of Fame center a hypocrite.
“He hated the fact when he played that older guys were talking about him and how he played,” Howard told reporters. “Now he’s doing the exact same thing. Just let it go. There’s no sense for him to be talking trash to me. Just sit back and relax. Your time is up. I don’t really care. He can say whatever he wants.”
Howard didn’t stop there however. When asked if he would want to get on the same page with O’Neal prior to the retirement ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on April 2 at halftime of the Lakers’ game against the Dallas Mavericks, Howard replied:
“What do we need to get on the same page for? I have respect for him and what he did for basketball. That’s it.”
When my time is up, there’s going to be somebody else who can do everything I can do and probably do it better. Instead of me talking about him, I’ll do my job to try to help him get where I’m at. I think that’s what guys who have done it before us should do.”
Dwight responds to Shaq’s Brook Lopez diss in the video below:
The LA Times notes that Howard, currently rehabbing after undergoing back surgery in April, is expected back for the Lakers’ October 20 season opener against Dallas.
What are your thoughts on the Dwight Howard/Shaquille O’Neal feud? Sound off below.