Shaquille O’Neal calls out LeBron James for complaining about NBA season
Shaquille O’Neal called out Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James for complaining about the NBA starting the season too earlier, in his view causing players to be injured.
“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,” O’Neal said Tuesday. “I’d play back to back to back to back to back.”
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O’Neal was responding to a series of tweets James wrote on June 16, where he complained about the NBA season starting too early. Normally, the NBA season would end in June and starts again in October. However, due to the Leagues response to the coronavirus pandemic, they ended the season in October and started it back up again just two months later in December.
“They all didn’t wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn’t just “PART OF THE GAME”. It’s the lack of PURE,” James’ tweet thread started.
“RIM REST rest before starting back up. 8, possibly 9 ALL-STARS has missed Playoff games(most in league history). This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players. It’s insane,” he continued.
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O’Neal went on to say he wasn’t “knocking” what James said but that he personally “doesn’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.”
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said that the injuries during this season were equivalent to the injuries last season.
“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,” Bass said. “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.”
James, a vocal critic of the police and supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement injured his right ankle in March and missed 27 games this season. He received heavy criticism in the aftermath of the shooting death of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant by a police officer. James sent out a tweet with the image of the officer involved and the words “YOU’RE NEXT.” James later deleted the tweet, admitting it was causing more division.