SAN ANTONIO – Shaquille O’Neal caused a bit of a stir when he recently said the NBA should cancel the rest of its season after it was suspended in March due the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think we should scrap the season,” O’Neal said in the interview with For The Win. “Everybody go home, get healthy, come back next year. Just scrap the season.”
The NBA legend doubled down on those comments Wednesday on his podcast “The Big Podcast With Shaq,” and dragged the Spurs and Tim Duncan into the discussion.
O’Neal said the bigger picture is the safety of players and fans, but then compared this NBA season to a lockout type season, saying a potential champion would not be respected.
“I won a championship in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006, and it was done the right way. The correct way,” said O’Neal. “For example, if we would have won the championship in 1999, I would not have accepted that. It’s not a real season.”
O’Neal continued by saying the Spurs first championship does not count and will always have an “asterisk” by it.
"I would tell Mr. Duncan this to his face, you have four rings. Yeah, it says you have five, but the asterisk doesn’t count. Anything I do, I never want an asterisk by it,” O’Neal said. “It’s not a real season. I’ll tell all of San Antonio to their face, you only have four.”
The Spurs swept the Shaquille O’Neal-led Lakers in the 1999 NBA Playoffs en route the franchise’s first championship. The Spurs and Lakers had one of the fiercest NBA rivalries in the 2000s.
That may have fueled some of O’Neal’s comments because he did not mention LeBron James’ first championship in 2012, which was also an NBA season shortened by a lockout.