"Got to close the deal" - LSU legend Shaquille O'Neal questions Caitlin Clark's greatness after loss in championship game

Shaquille O
Shaquille O'Neal (lefT) and Caitlin Clark

LSU legend Shaquille O'Neal questioned Caitlin Clark's greatness after Iowa lost to Angel Reese and the Tigers in the women's NCAA championship game. O'Neal acknowledged that Clark is the best player in college basketball but failed to win what mattered most.

On "The Big Podcast with Shaq," co-host Nischelle Turner discussed Clark's historic tournament run. However, O'Neal cut off Turner to criticize the Hawkeyes superstar.

"All the bad people I know close the deal," O'Neal said. "I ain't gonna listen. You don't get no cookies for coming in second. Can she shoot? Yes. Is she a hell of a player? Yes. ... She can play, one of the best college players.
"But you got to close the deal, brother. That's like saying, 'He's the best home run hitter in baseball and then he strikes out when me and you buy tickets and go to the game.' I don't want to hear that sh*t."

Shaquille O'Neal does have a valid point that Caitlin Clark and Iowa didn't seal the deal against the LSU Tigers. However, Clark was arguably the best women's college player in the tournament, averaging 31.8 per game during March Madness.

Clark also broke the single tournament record for total points and assists. It should be noted that O'Neal is from LSU, so there's a sure bias on his part. The Tigers were simply the better overall team, with five players reaching double figures in the final.


Nevertheless, basketball has always been a team game, and it's a matter of what ifs. What if O'Neal didn't have Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade? Would he have won four championships? Would Clark have won the national title if she had better teammates?

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Shaquille O'Neal praises Angel Reese

Shaquille O'Neal (lefT) and Angel Reese
Shaquille O'Neal (lefT) and Angel Reese

Shaquille O'Neal might be the most famous athlete to come out of LSU. He was a dominant force during his time with the Tigers, which is the main reason why he was drafted first overall in 1992. However, he failed to lead LSU to a national championship.

On the same episode of "The Big Podcast with Shaq," the Hall of Fame big man pondered if Angel Reese is the greatest athlete to come out of LSU. O'Neal pointed out how Reese brought the university's first NCAA championship.

"She's probably the greatest athlete ever to come out of LSU sports," O'Neal said. "You heard it here first. Male and female, ever. Because, guess what? She delivered. She delivered that package. See, a lot of us got the package, and we still got the package in our truck. She delivered that package. So, you know, there's a lot of names you could throw around, men and women, but she's probably the greatest athlete."

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Edited by Juan Paolo David