The big man hasn't been on the court for a couple of seasons now, but he's staying relevant by embroiling himself in a couple of the more entertaining Twitter beefs going. Whether scrapping with Jose Canseco or Kendrick Perkins (140 characters at a time, of course), O'Neal has been mixing it up.
He's not the only one, though, as everyone from Kevin Durant to LaLa Vazquez has been using social media for its one true purpose: personal sniping.
(Note: social media has two other true purposes, which are sharing pictures of food and children, but not at the same time.)
Anyway, there have been some Grade A beefs going on on Twitter during these playoffs. They're presented here for your entertainment.
Let's start things off cordially, shall we?
The war of words between David Lee and Roy Hibbert actually had some genuine physical origins, which sets it apart from all of the other Twitter beefs that'll be chronicled here. Well, unless you really believe there's any truth to the sordid rumors about Carmelo Anthony's wife and Kevin Garnett.
Moving briskly past that, let's refocus on Lee and Hibbert, who got into it with one another earlier this season on the court. Watch the tape closely, though, and you'll note that Lee started the fracas but took his sweet time getting into the scrum when things really started to heat up.
After Lee tore his hip flexor in the first round, Hibbert employed Twitter to send out an impressively backhanded condolence:
I really don't like @dlee042 but I really hope he has a speedy recovery. Hate to see guys get get hurt or injured.— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) April 22, 2013
And Lee responded in kind:
@hoya2apacer Good to know our dislike is mutual, that being said I appreciate the tweet Roy!
— David Lee (@Dlee042) April 22, 2013
How very gentlemanly! Good show, chaps!
The ongoing beef between Shaquille O'Neal and Jose Canseco has quite a history. It's unclear how it started, but since March of 2012, Canseco has been sniping at O'Neal via Twitter, challenging the retired center to a fight.
There are literally dozens of tweets that make up one of the more unusual (and inexplicable) disagreements in recent memory, but here are some of the better ones.
Canseco wants to fight Shaq, but is clearly already losing the battle with a much tougher foe: spelling.
I am a big fan of yours .you can call me names and a snitch. But I have nothing to loose .if you step into that ring I will take you down .— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) May 5, 2013
O'Neal, who is apparently not cool with Canseco's habitual outing of juiced-up baseball players, seems more than ready to throw down with the former Bash Brother.
So there you go, beef affirmed.
Canseco loves himself some publicity, so this is probably all gravy for him. A fight between these two seems unlikely, but a few more entertaining tweets are probably on the way.
Those who value proper grammar are advised to look away.
To set the scene, Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony got into a tiff in January over some unseemly comments KG allegedly leveled at Anthony. Those words, purported to have had something to do with Anthony's wife, LaLa Vazquez, sparked controversy between 'Melo and Garnett.
With that beef seemingly dead, the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks met in a testy first-round series during which Jordan Crawford saw fit to revive it by barking at Anthony.
From there, Vazquez responded.
Try again. You on the bench for a reason. instagram.com/p/Y0QM3-xjT5/— LA LA(@lala) May 2, 2013
Good use of the high road, LaLa. Well done.
Crawford responded with what appears to be a denial of some kind, but in typical athlete Twitter fashion, it's a little hard to tell.
I would never talk trash about that mans Wife. I don't him........ All I did was respond!!— Jordan Crawford (@jcraw55) May 2, 2013
The edge here has to go to Vazquez, who not only handled the matter deftly, but also managed to make sense.
Shaq's second entry actually involves an NBA player this time, and technically, he didn't start this one either.
Apparently, Kendrick Perkins is an avid viewer of Inside the NBA on TNT (check your local listings, everyone!) and would prefer it if O'Neal didn't spend so much time talking about himself.
Do Shack ever stop talking about himself. SMH— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) May 7, 2013
My bad Shaq— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) May 7, 2013
O'Neal's nothing if not sensitive, as you'll note anytime Charles Barkley or Kenny Smith gives him even the gentlest ribbing. He took exception to Perkins' relatively benign tweet, making a point to rib the Oklahoma City Thunder center at every opportunity and firing back on Twitter.
OKC is currently doing battle with the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round, so Perkins might have a few other things on his mind. But this beef feels like it's got a few more rounds left in it.
This one is just plain weird. Royce White, who didn't play a single minute during the 2012-13 season, seemed to think his followers (and the Twitterverse at large) were interested in what he had to say when his Houston Rockets were giving the Thunder a decent series in Round 1.
According to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman, Durant wasn't impressed with White's analysis:
"Who is that?” Durant asked when asked his reaction to White’s comments.
Durant claimed he wasn’t aware of the comment and then asked again “Who is that?”
“I haven’t seen him on the bench,” Durant said. “I haven’t seen him on the bench. So, I mean, I’m not worried about guys that’s not even in our series. Ain’t that the guy that’s afraid to fly? Well I wish him the best, man, and if I see him next year I’ll let him know who we are.”
White fired off a bunch more tweets either explaining or justifying his opinion, none of which had the effect of making him sound any more reasonable.
Durant, with a not-so-subtle shot at the sidelined White, came out of this one-sided beef way ahead.