In January during a broadcast, basketball Hall of Famer turned TV analyst Shaquille O’Neal criticized Utah Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell on air, which caused a good deal of drama in the days that followed.
Well, Shaq was back this week to once again address the topic during a podcast appearance.
Let’s just let him have the floor:
“So, you know, I said something about Donovan Mitchell one time, and everybody who everybody is started bashing me, but they’re not listening to what I’m saying. What I’m saying is I played with Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, D Wade (Jazz part owner Dwyane Wade), LeBron James, Steve Nash, and if you ain’t on that level, I don’t know what great is.
“You know, (Mitchell) he is a really good player, on his way, but to try to crown him as the next, and then I said, ‘OK, if he’s crowned the next, where is he ranked right now?,’ and people were saying five, six, seven. I said, ‘Well I don’t know where y’all come from, but being fifth is not acceptable to me. If I’m not No. 1 or No. 2, don’t bring my name up, ever.’”
Mitchell wound up averaging 26.4 points, 5.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds and a steal per game during the 2020-21 regular season, and then he averaged 32.3 points, 5.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals per contest during the playoffs.