The Shaq/Javale McGee beef is the Best and Worst Thing for the NBA Right Now
By Brandon Simmons
The NBA has started off with a bang and people can thank the beef between Shaquille O’ Neal and Golden State Warrior Javale McGee. Thursday the two men broke out into a Twitter war over a Dr. Strange parody that ran on the NBA on TNT broadcast. This is great for the league in terms of entertainment but at the same time, it is the worse thing to happen for players in this era who have been criticized for being weaker than previous generations.
The parody featured McGee being involved several clumsy plays McGee took exception to that and proceeded to go at the analyst, claiming he has been on McGee’s nuts ever since the Warriors Center came into the league.
“Get my (nuts emoji) out of your mouth and EAD!,” Tweeted McGee. O’Neal did not take too kindly to that suggestion at all so he fired back swiftly and just as harsh.
“@JavaleMcGee don’t be acting like u a g I’ll smack the shit out yo bum ass u da one that be looking stupid with your dumb ass #bum ass”, Shaq wrote in his reply. Both of them continued on a small back-and-forth as you can see below:
But ladies and gentlemen it does not end there. Mcgee’s teammate and the Warriors’ prized offseason pickup, Kevin Durant, came to the center’s defense and put Shaq on blast for all of his mishaps:
“I understand that Shaq works for a company that wants him to do that type of stuff and make fun of players … but when you just keep doing it time and time and time again, for no reason, and the guy actually disagrees with you and you threaten him … I didn’t know cops could threaten civilians like that…”Shaq was a s—ty free throw shooter. He missed dunks. He airballed free throws. He couldn’t shoot outside the paint,” Durant said. “He’s bigger than everybody. He didn’t have any skill, but he was bigger and stronger than everybody. And he’s still a great player, but you had your flaws too as a player. And he played on five or six teams too, so it’s not like he was just like this perfect center. You had your flaws, too.”
Shaq responded to Durant with a few tweets of his own.
This is the best thing and the worst thing for the NBA right now. The entertainment aspect is there without question. When two or more grown men are gathered together spew insults at each other online like teenagers, it is a welcoming feeling of additional jokes. After a boring Slam Dunk contest, NBA fans need something to rejuvenate their spirit and gear up for an exciting regular season finish.
The bad thing about all of this only falls on the image of the players. They got aggravated because a guy who gets paid to criticize players, criticized a player. It reinforces the stigma that today’s NBA players are soft as toilet paper. If he has a highlight reel worth of bloopers, then that is saying something. When reporters interviewed Warriors head coach Steve Kerr he even hinted to there being a negative perception formed around McGee. Also, McGee’s reaction is similar to when Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lebron James didn’t take to kindly to TNT analyst Charles Barkley criticizing him over his comments wanting another playmaker. James response was bringing up all of Barkley’s past off-the-court transgressions, including throwing a guy through a window.
Players need to get off the gas when it comes to receiving criticism. Nobody, especially in this era, is perfect and will take some heat for any mistakes they made. It has nothing to do with the “social media effect” but rather an opinion being shared, which the NBA on TNT crew is not afraid to do. Shaq has a show called Shaqtin a Fool where he puts players on blast for their bloopers in the game, this is not something new. What is new, is how these players react so hot to a hot take.
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