The Major Beef Between Shaquille O’Neal & Shannon Sharpe Has Climaxed With A Shaq Diss Track

Shannon Sharpe Shaq
TNT/Nightcap

It isn’t quite Kendrick Lamar vs. Drake, but the ongoing public spat between two sporting legends in Shaquille O’Neal and Shannon Sharpe has really taken off over the past 48 hours or so.

The beef started when Sharpe was critical for telling reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic to his face that Thunder superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander deserved the award instead.

Shaq took umbrage with how Sharpe characterized his career as a lazy underachiever. I think it’s a fair point that Shaq is extra hard on modern big men, because he’s maybe a tad insecure about his standing in the pantheon of all-time greats.

Welp. Once that happened, all bets were off. Shaq embarked on an epic tirade via Instagram about how much more big-time he is than Sharpe. He also went through the trouble of chopping up the Sharpe clip that triggered him, and set it as the intro/backdrop for a diss track.

Sharpe mostly took the high road thereafter, yet he still went back to how Shaq could’ve gotten much more out of his time as a player if he had a better work ethic.

“I’ve never professed that I was as great as Shaq, but I will say, I got what I got because I worked my a** off. God gave me the ability to do what I could do, but He gave me discipline. He gave me dedication. I never half-a**ed it. My question is, do you believe that you gave everything you possibly could in basketball? Did you train the way you should have? Did you eat the way you should have?

He’s the most dominant big man in the history of the game, and he got one MVP. Yeah, you’ve got more money. Yeah, you’re more famous than me. Yeah, you’re more well-known. You’re going to have way more money than I ever have. But nobody will ever say that I was lazy. Or I cheated myself.

Considering there are far more than five positions in football as opposed to basketball, and that Sharpe is clearly among the best all-around tight ends to ever do it, his achievements on the gridiron can’t be short-changed. To be as big of a success as Sharpe is, and to have a legacy that still endures despite playing a rather obscure position, speaks to his star power and, yes, the work ethic he keeps coming back to.

In Shaq’s defense, even if you argue that he didn’t get everything he could out of his prime, there’s no question he loves the game. Why else would he still be such a prominent fixture in the NBA nowadays as one of the analysts for Inside the NBA on TNT? His unique personality is a factor, sure. Money talks. But like, Shaq is the man. He won four NBA championships. Was a three-time Finals MVP. A 15-time All-Star. His number is retired by the Magic, Lakers and Heat. Who else has their jersey retired — not in the honorary sense, but as an actual team member — by three different franchises? I’m sure I don’t know.

So if Shaq is an underachiever, that’s a hell of a resume. Once the end of his career approached, Shaq even rejected $1.5 million he was owed by the Celtics because he felt like he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. That doesn’t strike me as a guy who doesn’t care a lot about the game.

I’m a pretty big fan of both Shaq and Sharpe. At the end of the day, I hope they can find some common ground and knock this off. Until then, I’ll just sit back with my popcorn and enjoy the entertainment.

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