Most that have followed the NBA for the last several years are aware that former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal and the team’s current starter at that position, JaVale McGee, don’t get along. The majority of you even probably know that the crux of their mutual disrespect for one another comes from Shaq’s “Shaqtin a Fool” segment on TNT.
But did you know how bad the feud got at one point? That McGee has been featured on “Shaqtin” more than any other player? That their moms had to get involved to put a stop to it?
SB Nation’s excellent video team did, and rounded up the full history into a wonderful, bite-sized, 11-minute explainer for all of us to digest and remember all the highs and lows of the two big men’s dysfunctional relationship:
While it’s fair to note that McGee does mess up sometimes, and often spectacularly when it happens, it’s hard not to watch this and view him as a sympathetic figure. With the constant highlighting of his mistakes, even some that were borderline, and even while he was out for the season with an injury, it’s not hard to understand why he’d eventually get fed up and pushed past a breaking point. At some point teasing gets less playful, and more mean-spirited, and it does feel like Shaq crossed that line.
And while the video notes that the beef is mostly dead, it’s also worth remembering that it’s not entirely dormant. While McGee hasn’t talked about peanut emoji’s and whose mouth they’re in on Twitter in a while, Dwight Howard — another frequent target of Shaq’s barbs — did joke that he and McGee bonded this summer over how much they wanted to fight the Hall-of-Famer at one point or another. So even though O’Neal and McGee aren’t fueling the fire publicly anymore, it’s clear their distaste for one another is likely far from entirely dormant.
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