Shaq said listen here young whippersnapper…
In a recent interview, Shaquille O’Neal let it be known exactly how he feels about new Lakers player Dwight Howard:
O’Neal sat down with Times-Picayune sports writer Rachel Whittaker to talk about his career, what he does with his free offseasons, Dwight Howard’s trade to the Lakers, a potential invite to the Mexican League and more.
How do you spend your time in the offseason?
“I take care of a lot of business. I own a lot of businesses. I just look at them; I don’t try to run them. (President Dwight) Eisenhower said the smartest leaders are the ones who hire people smarter than them. So I got some really smart people working for me, and I just manage them. I always look at the books and make sure everything’s all right up there. I own car washes, 40 24-hour fitness centers, 55 Five Guys and a lot of other stuff.”
How do you like being a TV analyst now?
“It’s fun. I get to lend a little bit of my expertise.”
What was your reaction to Dwight Howard being traded to the Lakers?
“I don’t have a reaction. You have to care to have a reaction. I’ve got businesses to run. I always tell people that in order to step in my shoes you have big shoes to fill. For him, he’s going to have to at least win three to get people’s respect.”
How do you feel about a big center like Howard following your same path to the Lakers following four years with the Magic?
“I’m flattered, if you want to put it like that.”
Is there any truth to the reports that you’ll be playing games in the Mexican League next month?
“No truth to that. It’s kind of unfortunate that so-called experts have to get their sources from the Internet. It’s backwards. Especially like when people from ESPN know me and they can call me and ask me, but somebody else said it so they want to be the first to report it even though it’s not true. However, we could talk, but nobody has contacted me.”
So you definitely won’t?
What do you think of the Honey Badger’s decision making after being declared ineligible for this season?
“I’m glad he’s coming back to school. In this lifetime we don’t get too many chances, so this is a warning for him because he won’t get another chance. But I’m glad he’s going back to school.”
What kind of an honor was it to have your number retired?
“It just shows I’ve progressed as a player. Everyone wants to be a great player. You’re not really great until you win championships or your number is retired. My best jersey retirement was the one at LSU. Nothing will ever top that — there are a lot of great guys that have come through here, and then to be the only one next to Pistol Pete (Maravich) and Bob Pettit.”
As you progressed more and more in your basketball career, did you think it would be possible to have an accomplishment like that?
“That was my goal. When you set a goal … you’ll achieve it or you won’t achieve it. That was my goal to get my jersey up next to those guys. I really had to play my ass off and be able to win a lot of championships. We did that, and it was good.”
Wait a minute… Did he say he owns 55 Five Guys’??? Cotdayuuuuuum!
D.Howard gonna have to do a lot to catch up with that.
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