Shaquille O’Neal is not the biggest fan of Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who he blasted Thursday night on national television during a segment on TNT’s Inside the NBA.
“He plays for a good team,” O’Neal said. “You put him in Milwaukee, you’ll never hear from him again.”
Shaq and host Ernie Johnson revealed the bottom half of their Top 25 player rankings, and EJ ranked Jordan as the 13th best player in the league — ahead of Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, who he ranked 15th. Shaq had Jordan ranked 23rd and Boogie 12th.
Around this time two years ago, Shaq thought the world of Jordan
The Clippers center was not selected as an All-Star starter in 2015, but O’Neal penciled him in as a reserve, while Chuck, Kenny, and EJ left Jordan off their lists.
"That's pretty cool, that's humbling,” Jordan said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Shaq to me is one of the most dominant players who's ever played the game. So for him to think about me in that light is pretty cool."
If you go even further back, Shaq considered Jordan the best center in the league in 2012, though at the time, the compliment may have been a dig at Dwight Howard.
"I’m going on the record," O'Neal said, per the L.A. Times, when Jordan averaged 8.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks. "Best center in the West right now is DeAndre Jordan. You heard it here first."
I guess now that Jordan has continued to establish himself, he's no longer fodder for Shaq to take shots at other people, but someone he has to give genuine credit to. I'd hoped some of the pettiness Shaq had as a player would have evaporated as he got older and more experienced in his role with TNT, but I guess not. Also worth noting he's a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings, so DeMarcus Cousins' ranking probably didn't help.