HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — This could very well be much Shaq ado about nothing.
But in an otherwise tame interview, TNT’s own and former Magic and Lakers (among others) superstar big man Shaquille O’Neal seems to have taken at least a passing shot at former Magic and now Lakers superstar big man Dwight Howard.
In an interview with the Times Picayune, O’Neal was asked what he thought about Howard following in his giant footsteps, and the big fella didn’t stutter:
What was your reaction to Dwight Howard being traded to the Lakers?
“I don’t have a reaction. You have to care to have a reaction. I’ve got businesses to run. I always tell people that in order to step in my shoes you have big shoes to fill. For him, he’s going to have to at least win three to get people’s respect.”
How do you feel about a big center like Howard following your same path to the Lakers following four years with the Magic?
“I’m flattered, if you want to put it like that.”
This is obviously not the first time the question has been asked and it certainly won’t be the last. And you better believe that these two giants will be compared to each other for years to come, especially with them having so much in common in terms of the position they play, where they’ve played and that whole Superman thing.
Howard can silence Shaq and many of his other critics by getting off to a rousing start in his Lakers career. If they win big this season, much of the hoopla surrounding his move will dissipate. If not, this will be just one of the many shots he absorbs from Shaq and plenty of other people waiting to pile on.