Shaquille O’Neal Sounds Off on Nets’ Lack of ‘Respect’ for Steve Nash

Steve Nash and Shaquille O'Neal

Getty Steve Nash of B/R Football and Shaquille O'Neal of Inside The NBA on TNT speak onstage during the Turner Upfront 2018 show

Shaquille O’Neal hasn’t hesitated to share his criticism of Kevin Durant recently. After a summer of trade rumors that happened after Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, he has been called out by multiple analysts and former players. One of the most memorable times Durant has been called out came from Charles Barkley, who shared that he refers to Durant as ‘Mr. Miserable.’ Barkley’s comments were echoed by Shaq in a recent episode of his podcast. 

“If you go back and look at his career as a best player being the leader, all goes with that too. We were all there. We saw OKC up 3-1. One more game and when you’re the guy, all the pressure goes on you. A lot of people was talking about the bus driver. Chuck was absolutely right. He was not driving the bus in Golden State. You were on the bus. You were sitting up front.

So when guys like us go ‘Woah, woah, woah, woah’ and you win and we don’t respect it, don’t get mad at us. That’s how we feel. This is the attitude that Kevin Durant is gonna say, ‘Whoa, I got this many points and I got this, and I got that.’ We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about you, the guy, and in championship moments, can you take it to that next level? We haven’t seen that yet,” O’Neal said

O’Neal followed that statement up with more in a question fueled by Durant and his lack of respect for Nets head coach Steve Nash. 

Shaq on Lack of Respect for Coaches

In a recent interview with Uproxx, O’Neal was asked about everything going on with the Nets locker room and the team’s respect for Steve Nash. 

“My last question is about the Nets, but it’s specifically about Steve Nash and everything that happened around him this summer. He’s coming back to lead them — with what you know about Steve as a guy who was teammates with him for a bit, do you think he can navigate going back to coaching this team like normal?

Before I answer the question, I’m gonna tell you a little story. A guy asked me the other day, “you ever think about coaching?” And the answer is no. He said why? When a guy makes 20 times more than you, it’s gonna be hard for them to respect you. It shows that they don’t respect him. All the “I want him gone, I want him gone,” and then to come back and say we worked it out, nah, it ain’t that easy. As adults, we can have a heart-to-heart, we can iron it out. But it’s still right here. So when things don’t go right, they’re gonna blame it on him. So, he’s gonna have to demand their respect. As a player, if you know you were better than a former player who’s now a coach, it’s gonna be hard for you to, in tough situations, listen to him. So, it’s gonna be tough. I know the coaches I played for, they put their foot down. Sometimes you got to put your foot down, even if the player makes a $50 million, you got to put your foot down, especially 8f they ain’t gonna step up, anyway,” the Uproxx interview said

Amare Stoudemire on Nets Coaching Situation

While Shaquille O’Neal thinks the Nets have a problem with their current coaching situation. Amare Stoudemire, who was on the Nets coaching staff with Nash last season, recently shared his insights on what next season will be like for the Nets and Nash. 

“I think it’s always been up and down for the coaches and star players throughout the history of the game of basketball. I think what they will probably end up doing is having a conversation to try to hash it all out to try to figure out a way to co-exist to compete for a championship. Both of those guys are egoless, right? Steve is an egoless player. Kevin Durant is also an egoless player, he wants to win. He wants to make his teammates better. So I think for those two guys who have that type of mentality and personality, it will work out for them,” Stoudemire said on an appearance on the SiriusXM NBA Radio Show


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