Shaq attack! O’Neal’s not-so-subtle take on LeBron James’ whining: ‘I don’t complain and make excuses’

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Legendary retired NBA player Shaquille O’Neal appears to be fed up with extremely privileged NBA star and multimillionaire LeBron James’ constant grievances.

Without actually directly naming James, the 49-year-old legend went off on a rant this week about NBA players who incessantly “complain and make excuses.”

“When you’re living in a world where 40 million people have been laid off and I’m making $200 million, you won’t get no complaining from me. I’d play back to back to back to back to back,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

“I’m not knocking what anybody said, but me personally, I don’t complain and make excuses, because real people are working their tail off, and all we gotta do is train two hours a day and then play a game for two hours at night and make a lot of money … So my thought process is a little different,” he added.

While he didn’t name James, it’s strongly believed that his rant was a response to a grievance-filled fit that the Lakers star had thrown days earlier.

On June 16th, he posted a poorly written Twitter screed whining that so many NBA players wouldn’t have been injured this season had the league listened to him — the apparently all-knowing, all-seeing — and delayed the return of basketball.

Look:

According to CNBC, top “players including James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and James’ teammate Anthony Davis suffered key injuries in the NBA’s 72-game campaign and postseason.”

James believes that these injuries would have been prevented had the league not started this year’s season in December, which is when the season has always begun.

The NBA has, for its part, disputed this narrative.

“Injury rates were virtually the same this season as they were during 2019-20 while starter-level and All-Star players missed games due to injury at similar rates as the last three seasons,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass aid in response to James’ complaints.

“While injuries are an unfortunate reality of our game, we recognize the enormous sacrifices NBA players and teams have made to play through this pandemic,” Bass added.

However, an analysis by ESPN’s Kevin Pelton found that the “average number of players sidelined per game due to injury, non-COVID-19 illness or rest this season was …. the highest since he started tracking it in 2009-10,” as reported last month by ESPN.

“The increase was even more pronounced when focusing on the league’s stars. This season’s All-Stars missed 370 of a possible 1,944 games (19%), the highest percentage in a season in NBA history, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. They missed an average of 13.7 regular-season games each this year,” ESPN added.

And so maybe James had a point?

But by the same token, these players are paid millions upon millions upon millions to put up with such circumstances, so it seems O’Neal also had a point.

Plus, this isn’t the first, second, third, fourth, or even fifth time that James has gone viral for complaining about something, anything.

Correction: Anything but China and its human rights abuses. When it comes to the genuine abuse felt by true victims, James has always preferred the route of silence.

Vivek Saxena

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