The beef between Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard has been re-ignited over the last few days. Shaq recently belittled Howard’s incredible performances in Taiwan while playing for the Taoyuan Leopards.
The Hall of Famer went as far as to say that where Howard is playing reminds him of “the Lifetime Fitness” league. Shaq’s comments didn't’ sit well with “D12” who went off on Instagram live (via F.C. THETRUTH):
(Starts at the 1:07 mark)
“Do not disrespect my teammates and this league and these people in Taiwan like that. That is highly disrespectful and that is hating and you’re too old to be hating. You’re too big to be hating.
“You’re supposed to be Superman, the original Superman, Shaquille O’Neal. The original Superman is hating? The OG Superman is hating?
“You hated on JaVale McGee and almost cost this man his career! For what?! What are you hating JaVale McGee for? This man can’t way after you. He probably grew up wishing he could be like you. Come on, man!
“You are too old and too wise, 'cause I know you, to be hating. I don’t even think that’s hating, that’s jealousy. And you have no need to be jealous of anybody. Everybody that you have hated on, that you have talked about, they have loved you at some point.”
Dwight Howard wanted to re-sign with the LA Lakers this season but didn’t receive an offer. He eventually decided to take his talents to Taiwan as he still badly wanted to play. Howard has been nothing short of a rockstar since he arrived in the country.
Howard wreaked havoc on the Leopards’ opponents in his debut in the Taiwan League. The former three-time Defensive Player of the Year opened his campaign with 38 points, 25 rebounds, nine assists and four blocks. He played like a cheat code that no one had an answer for.
Shaquille O'Neal, however, wasn’t impressed even a little when Howard’s record-setting game in Taiwan went viral. He dismissed the numbers as something that should have been expected given the level of competition coming from that league.
Howard pushed back on the “disrespect” and also brought up O’Neal’s feud with JaVale McGee. In 2017, Shaq and the then Golden State Warriors center were embroiled in a bitter public spat. McGee took exception to the legendary Laker icon’s unforgiving mockery of him via Shaqtin’ A Fool.
Kevin Durant and Steve Kerr defended McGee. The oft-used big man would also later admit that Shaquille O'Neal’s constant humiliation caused a “down spiral” to his career.
Dwight Howard also called out Shaquille O'Neal for calling Kyrie Irving an “idiot”
Dwight Howard didn’t just stop with JaVale McGee as his example of Shaquille O'Neal hating people. He also brought up O’Neal’s comments about Irving for being an “idiot” for posting a link to a film with anti-Semitic claims.
O’Neal recently clarified his “idiot” comments but also dug down that he couldn’t care less about what others thought of him.
Here’s what Dwight Howard had to say about Shaquille O'Neal’s lambasting of Kyrie Irving:
(Starts at the 7:17 mark)
“Why does he get on TV, podcast, whatever to talk about people? He did it to Kyrie the other day! You know Kyrie is an idiot because he made a comment?
“Come on, man! He an idiot dawg, an idiot Shaq? He an idiot for deciding to stand up for himself? Come on, man! We ain’t gonna talk about each other on TV to make ourselves look good, man!”
Shaquille O'Neal has never been one to back down from a fight, particularly not with Dwight Howard. They’ve feuded before, and will likely not hold back after their recent back-and-forth.