"I never wanted to be like Shaq...so I'm like, why is he hating on me?" - Dwight Howard opens up on his relationship with Shaquille O'Neal, says their beef is complicated and he never had 'bad blood' with him

Dwight Howard and Shaquille O
Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal

Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal have had a long-lasting beef since Howard's arrival as the first overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft. However, Howard recently revealed that he felt the feud was one-sided and that he doesn't have any bad feelings for O'Neal.

On the "All The Smoke" podcast, Howard shared that he initially felt that the LA Lakers legend wanted to fight. While mimicking O'Neal's voice, he said:

I was thinking he wanna fight or something because every time it was something on TV or somebody would say something. 'No, I don't think so'. 'The Lakers got 5 Hall of Famers' 'no, no, no, no, only four, he's not one, don't put him in there, no, don't do that, no.'"

Howard added that he has never had any issues with Shaq and views him as the most dominant player of all-time:

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"I never had no issues with Shaq. I never wanted to be like Shaq, but I enjoy watching Shaq do what he do. I think he's the most dominant player to ever play. There's no player who dominated like Shaq.
"I'm like, why is he hating on me? He should be happy that somebody is trying to follow in his footsteps."

Howard concluded by saying he made an attempt to reach out to O'Neal in the past:

"I reached out to try to work out with him, do business, whatever it may be because I ain't got no bad blood with Shaq, but it just seemed like it's always something between me and him. Even now, the stuff I was just saying about the Hall of Fame s**t, that happened this season. 'I can't watch the Lakers', I bet he watch Laker games this year cause I ain't on the team."

Watch Dwight Howard's full comments on Shaquille O'Neal below (starting at the 55:22 mark):

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Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard's past

Shaquille O'Neal has publicly targeted Dwight Howard several times over the years. He initially accused Howard of wanting to be like him by copying his 'Superman' moniker.

The nickname isn't the only similarity that the two share, which led to Shaquille O'Neal believing that Dwight Howard wanted to be him. Howard bolted to Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers in his prime, leaving the Orlando Magic, as O'Neal did.

While O'Neal has given Howard credit in the past, he quickly reverts back to criticizing Howard. He shared that he has doesn't need to apologize to Howard for anything.

With Dwight Howard nearing the conclusion of his career, it will be interesting to see if him and Shaquille O'Neal can develop a relationship after his playing days are over.

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Edited by Gautam Aggarwal
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