Dwight Howard has a message for Shaquille O’Neal: “Stop hating.”
The latest war of words between the two former NBA big men was sparked when O’Neal took a jab at Howard’s 38 points, 25 rebounds and nine assists in his Taiwan T1 League debut last week.
O’Neal took a dig at the ex-Laker on Thursday’s The Big Podcast, saying that Howard is “supposed to have 30 points playing against dudes 5-8” and likened the league to a “Life Time Fitness league”.
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Howard has now hit back.
“This message is for Shaquille O’Neal,” Howard said in an Instagram Live session.
“First thing I want to say is, you gotta stop hating brother. You gotta stop hating. I ain’t never in my life came at you about your basketball career, your family, your kids or anything of the sort. Because there is no need to. The world is too big to hate on another man.
“Have I joked about, I’ve mimicked your voice, have I mimicked what I see on TV? Everybody do that. Comedians do that. People do that all the time. And I do it all the time, I do that to everybody. But I do not hate on people.
“So stop hating. I saw a video of you talking about me playing basketball in Taiwan and I’m playing at the ‘Life Time Fitness League’. Do not disrespect my teammates in this league and these people in Taiwan like that. That is highly disrespectful and it’s hating.
“And you too old to be hating. You too big to be hating. You supposed to be Superman, the original Superman. Shaquille O’Neal. The original Superman is hating? The OG Superman is hating? Come on man.”
It wasn’t the first time O’Neal was critical of Howard.
After the Lakers won the title during the NBA’s bubble season in 2020, Howard posted multiple messages about winning his first career championship to his Instagram. O’Neal — who won three straight titles with the Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant from 1999-2002 and another in 2006 with the Heat alongside Dwayne Wade — called Howard a “bandwagon jumper” for his role with L.A.
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Howard, who spent his first eight years in the NBA with the Magic, also had stints with the Rockets, Hawks, Hornets, Wizards and 76ers, along with his three different spans with the Lakers. An eight-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA first teamer, Howard set last season with the Lakers and averaged 6.2 points and 5.9 rebounds before the 36-year-old decided to take his talents to Taiwan.
Howard also noted that he’s currently 265 pounds and “not 390 pounds” and in “the best shape of my life”.
“You know it takes effort to go get rebounds. And I got a whole lot of rebounds in my life,” Howard said.
“I’m not angry. But come on, you’re too old and too grown to be hating on other people.”
This article originally appeared on The New York Post and was republished with permission.