Originally written on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 10/5/12
It’s no secret that Shaquille O’Neal is not a fan of Dwight Howard. After years of praising Shaq, Howard has seen O’Neal answer his praise with ridicule. After Shaq’s most recent comments it appears Howard has finally had enough.
Howard grew up idolizing O’Neal and after Shaq made the ridiculous claim that Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez was actually better than than the new Los Angeles Lakers post man, the youngster snapped back. While Howard’s actions over the past 18 months have turned me off, I couldn’t help but feel good for him as he stood up for himself.

Howard told reporters the following about Shaq’s latest critique:

“Shaq played the game and he is done. It’s time to move on. He hated the fact that when he played that older guys were talking about him and how he played. Now he’s doing the exact some thing. Just let it go. There’s no sense for him to be talking trash to me. He did his thing in the league. Sit back and relax.
“Your time is up.”

Wow. Damn Dwight, keep preachin’ brother.
Honestly, I’ve never gotten the feeling that Howard was a bad guy, I just thought he made so many bone-headed comments and decisions that he came across as a complete drama queen. But all things considered he seems like a decent guy, who likes to have fun while playing the game.
Shaq will always be an iconic figure. And his personality and fun-loving attitude – along with his dominance on the court – always made him a fan-favorite. It’s no wonder Howard has modeled himself after O’Neal. But stooping down to constantly snipe at a young player is really beneath what Shaq should be doing these days.
O’Neal should be willing to reach out to the younger generation of players the way guys like Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have done before him. That is the role of the previous generation, not to rip apart the guys following in their footsteps.
Hopefully this beef will get squashed before Shaq’s No. 34 jersey is retired on April 2. But until then, it’s good for Howard that he finally answered back to his idol.
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