Shaq… Isn’t a Hater”: 7ft Giant’s Blunt Opinions on TNT Get Defended by Colleague Jamal Crawford

Shaq… Isn’t a Hater”: 7ft Giant’s Blunt Opinions on TNT Get Defended by Colleague Jamal Crawford

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“Shaq… Isn’t a Hater”: 7ft Giant’s Blunt Opinions on TNT Get Defended by Colleague Jamal Crawford

Published 05/07/2024, 6:24 AM WAST

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CAROLINE JOHN

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Sometimes Shaq opens his mouth and people are quick to say he hates Dwight Howard or he’s not supportive of Chet Holmgren. This season many thought he was crazy for picking Bol Bol over Victor Wembanyama. On TNT Tuesday, he shocked Jamal Crawford and Candace Parker when he picked Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for MVP. However, when it came down to it, Bol Bol lived up to the hype the longer he was on the court. SGA proved him right becoming an MVP finalist. And DH-12 and Chet repeatedly came through on his challenges. That, Jamal Crawford, realized is how Pushing for the Best 101 by Dr. Shaquille O’Neal.

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Crawford, now a permanent analyst on TNT as of this season, explained his observation after his many guest appearances on NBA on TNT over the past two years. “Shaq, for example, isn’t a hater by any means. But Shaq has a different way of going about challenging somebody, and I’ve grown to know that by working with him these last couple of years,” he told Forbes.

Despite accurately noticing it, Crawford has fallen into Shaq’s trap many times. He’s gone as far as to be a million dollars and get paid in Shaq-Bucks. That expensive lesson has left an impression on him. “His way is like ‘I may say something in a [certain] way, and it may come out harsh, but I’m really just asking them to step up.”

Crawford explained that there’s a disconnect on how current players respond to blunt opinions from former players-turned-analysts like Shaq, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith. Most often they take it as a challenge and prove them wrong. Exactly what the Big Aristotle is going for.

Shaq is no hater

Among Shaq’s wildest comments, he was the harshest on Zion Williamson. Shaq pointed out to people that he has three degrees and is not as illogical as people make him out to be. He explained his motives on The Big Podcast, “Me being the master marketer that I am I did what I had to do so y’all talk about us.” He knew how Zion would react to his comments which saw him pay attention to diet and conditioning more.

He repeatedly denies there’s a real beef between him and Dwight too. Similarly, very recently he slammed commentary he’s a Nikola Jokic hater. He was on the hot seat back in January too when he stunned the Tuesday analysts picking SGA over Luka Doncic. Jamal Crawford couldn’t comprehend the choice and neither did most of the NBA community. Until Doncic was having high-scoring weeks and SGA was leading OKC to the top seed simultaneously.

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