We've arrived at the point where it's no longer just banter or jokes, and it's become a weird obsession from O'Neal who can't seem to just let Howard's situation play out.
O'Neal said it would be a "travesty" if Howard left the Magic.
But Shaq didn't just stop there. He had a mouthful to say about Howard and his potential future in Orlando.
"I don't know if he doesn't like the organization, I don't know if he wants to go to a bigger city where he can get more endorsement deals, he can do movies. No one really knows the problem."
That would be a fair statement if it was coming from a different source.
We're talking about Shaq—this is the same guy who starred in Kazaam, dabbled in the hip-hop field and has had a history of being infatuated with situations that don't directly involve him.
Nothing has changed with O'Neal in his first season of retirement, and he'll do whatever it takes to keep both his opinion and name relevant despite no longer playing.
Does anyone even care about his opinion is on Howard's trade request? It's highly unlikely.
O'Neal was a phenomenal player and is one of the best centers in the history of the league.
An absolutely bruising physical specimen inside the paint, O'Neal's ability to single-handedly dominate the flow of a game is something we haven't seen from another player since he was in his prime.
But that doesn't give him a free license to say whatever he wants about Howard.
This isn't the first time O'Neal has given his thoughts about the trade request, either.
"I’m anxious to see if they make the same mistake twice. They just built an arena, $550 million. It’s talks of trading him or keeping him, but I think they should keep him."
O'Neal raises a fine argument that the Magic should attempt to keep Howard in the fold, but he prefaces it with a me-first statement. Again, Shaq is trying to make it about himself rather than Howard.
It's strange. It's odd for a grown man to be so fixated on one situation for such an extended amount of time. O'Neal doesn't need to prove anything to anyone—he already did that with his legendary career.
So what's the point of this?
What is the purpose of O'Neal perpetually speaking on a topic to the point of utter exhaustion?
Speculating on what may play out is one thing, but for O'Neal to constantly dissect Howard's saga in Orlando is both ridiculous and unnecessary.
Despite his unbelievable inclination to focus on Howard, O'Neal doesn't give the big man the credit he deserves.
He chose Andrew Bynum over Howard when asked who was the best center in the game.
Howard had a very direct response to that commentary from O'Neal, and there were no hidden messages in what he had to say.
"He's mad about 'Superman,' " Howard told reporters about eight hours before his Orlando Magic faced the Los Angeles Lakers at Amway Center. "I didn't know he made it up. I didn't know Superman came from Shaquille O'Neal."
"I would suggest he'd just sit down and get on with his life. He don't play no more, so what's the point of talking trash? It's not like we're wrestlers and we get to battle it out. Who cares?"
Well said, Dwight.
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