Dwight Howard responds to Shaq's critique: 'I think that's jealousy'

2022-11-24 12:24

Dwight Howard responded to Shaq, mentioning the story of JaVale McGee and the comments the league legend gives. The player later compared himself to Shaq in their 19th season in the NBA and offered Shaq to answer honestly about his abilities at that time.

Credit: AP - Scanpix
Credit AP - Scanpix

Dwight Howard made his debut for Taoyuan Leopards in Taiwan with a bang, delivering dominant performances in each of the first two of his game there.

First, the former NBA center scored 38 points, grabbed 25 rebounds, dished out 9 assists, and made 4 blocks while attempting 10 three-pointers at the same time. The next day, Howard recorded 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists. 

When the news about Howard's performances broke, Shaquille O'Neal spoke about it, minimizing the value of the numbers.

"You should never be complimented for being a good fighter because that's what you're supposed to do. He's supposed to have 30 points playing against a dude 5'8. Good job," Shaq said. "This league reminds me of a Lifetime Fitness league every Saturday when I go workout on Saturday. Great job Dwight, I'm proud of you."

Upon hearing Shaq's words, Dwight Howard hosted an Instagram live where he responded to the NBA legend directly.

"The world is too big to hate on another man. I've never in my life hated on you as a man, as a basketball player, anything like that. Have I joked about or mimicked your voice, have I mimicked what I see on TV? Everybody does that, comedians do that, people do that all the time, and I do that all the time but I do not hate on people," Howard began.

"I know I show love to everyone in the world. Stop hating. I saw a video of you talking about me playing basketball in Taiwan, and I'm playing at a Lifetime Fitness league. Do not disrespect my teammates and this league and these people in Taiwan like that," he continued. "That is highly disrespectful and it's hating. You're too old to be hating. You're too big to be hating. You're supposed to be superman, the original superman.

Later on, Howard used an example of JaVale McGee, which O'Neal routinely made fun of during his program Shaqtin a Fool. McGee was named the MVP of the show, which highlights funny NBA episodes, multiple times throughout the years.

"You did everything in life that everybody wishes that they could do. They want to be superman, they want to be you. They wanted to be you until they saw how much you're hating on people for no reason," Howard said.

"You hated on JaVale McGee and almost cost him his entire career. For what? What are you hating JaVale McGee for? This man came way after you. He probably grew up wishing he could be like you," the player explained. "Now, why would I want to be like somebody who hates on other people?"

Both Howard and O'Neal are known to have at least had a beef with one another for the right to be called superman. When Shaq entered the league, he quickly garnered the nickname. Years later when Howard was dominating the NBA, he wanted to be called superman as well, and the two men had multiple public exchanges over it.

"You're too old and too wise, because I know you, to be hating, and I don't think that's hating, I think that's jealousy. You have no need to be jealous of anybody. Everybody that you've hated on, been jealous of, or talked about, they have loved you at some point," Howard said.

"I'm not letting the haters win, I'm not mad, I'm passionate about the stuff that I say. This man called my league and my teammates sorry, basically. He called us a Lifetime Fitness league. This isn't a Lifetime Fitness league. It's dudes here that are taller than me. Everybody's goal and dream is to make it to the NBA. Everybody's not going to make it to the NBA," he explained.

In the end, Howard invited Shaq to contextualize his arrival in Taiwan this year. In his 18 years in the league, Howard became an 8-time All-Star and a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year. While Shaq was noticeably overweight during the twilight of his playing days, Howard noted that he is still in great shape both weight and feeling-wise.

"We don't need people hating on other people because they're not there. Shaq, when you were 37 years old, your 19th year in the league, because this would've been my 19th year in the league, would you have come to Taiwan and played? Would you have come here and been in shape? I'm 265 [pounds], I'm not 390 pounds. I'm 265 [pounds] and I'm in the best shape of my life," Howard told.

"You can come out here and give me 38 points, and 25 rebounds? You can talk about the points all you want but you know Shaq that it takes effort to get rebounds, and I've got a whole lot of rebounds in my life. It took effort to do that, a lot of effort, a lot of effort to go block shots, a lot of effort to go play basketball for this long. You don't have a right to be hating," Howard explained. "I'm not angry, I just want you all to know. I'm not angry at all."

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