Shaq on Dwight Howard in L.A.: ‘He’s Got Big Shoes to Fill’
It’s no secret that there’s no love lost between Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard. Neither one of these dominant big men have shown any kind of respect for the other with Shaq relentless about Howard stealing the “Superman” nickname.
After learning of Howard being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, Shaq couldn’t help but let his thoughts be known about another All-Star center heading to the City of Angels from the Orlando Magic via Mark Medina of the L.A. Times:
“I have three sons and I always tell them that if you want to call yourself big, then you have big shoes to fill,” O’Neal said. “Anybody who calls himself big has big shoes to fill. Right now, he’s off pace. He has to get himself on pace if he wants to call himself big.”
It’s fairly obvious that Shaq is still very bitter about all things Dwight Howard. It’ll be interesting to see how he talks about the new Lakers center while covering games next season for TNT.
With the Lakers thrust into the spotlight once again with the acquisitions of Steve Nash and Howard, Shaq will almost certainly be sending more shots in the direction of the three-time Defensive Player of the Year if Los Angeles continues to be successful over the next few years.
Now that the Lakers are most likely done wheeling and dealing on the trade front, Los Angeles will be the center of attention in the NBA once again.
Over the last two years, the media followed every move, tweet and comment of the Miami Heat’s Big 3. LeBron James was labeled the villain and surrounded by negativity until he was finally able to win an elusive NBA title last season.
The Lakers may become that team everyone loves to hate next season with constant coverage of every move made by Howard, Nash, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not this combination of superstars can live up the hype and quiet the critics, including Shaq.