Shaq Trashes Rudy Gobert as an Overrated Defender Who Can’t Shutdown Other Bigs

shaquille o'neal shaq
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Shaquille O’Neal is NBA HOF. And not only is Shaq one of the greatest centers in NBA history, he’s a culture icon who’s lasted the test of time in a way almost nobody else has. Superman was named to 15 All-Star teams during his 19-year NBA career, which also included four Finals victories. Despite making the All-Defensive team three times, however, the legendary Magic –> Laker –> Heat legend never won NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

You know who has, though? Rudy Gobert has. Three times. Sure, Stifle Tower’s career will never measure up to to the Big Aristotle’s. The Minnesota Timberwolves big man doesn’t have the offensive talent that O’Neal did, so his ceiling is capped in that regard.

Shaq not impressed by Rudy Gobert’s defense

There really should be no debate, at this point, over whether or not Gobert is one of the best defensive players of the modern NBA. In fact, he deserves consideration when talking about the greatest post defenders ever. we’ve seen it here. He turned a below-average to poor defensive team and made them into one of the best in recent memory. But… don’t tell that to Shaq Diesel who is not impressed with Stifle Tower, even 11 seasons into his NBA career..

“I never thought he was a great defensive player… See, what it is, there’s not a lot of centers that are making him play defense. Like, he’s not doing that shit against Joker… He’s 7’6”, of course, if you lay it up, he’s going to block it. But defense to me is — guard that mofo, shut him down. You want to impress me? Hold Joker under 15 points. Now you’re playing. All that weakside shot blocking, that’s cool. But it’s not going to work against guys like me and Joker and Embiid.”

Shaquille O’Neal on Rudy Gobert

Phew, I did not know Shaq Daddy had this type of animosity toward Rudy Gobert’s game. And is anyone going to inform Mr. O’Neal that he is the same height (7-foot-1) as Rudy? Also, for the record, the Timberwolves have only played one game against the Denver Nuggets so far this season (that’s about to change real quick). Jokic scored 25 points, in a Minnesota win.

Related: 10 Greatest Minnesota Timberwolves Players Of All-Time

But what the 31-year-old big man does have, however, is one of the best defensive resumes in NBA history. As mentioned, he already has three DPOY awards to his name, and he is a heavy favorite to win his fourth. If successful, he’d be just the third player in league history to do so. the others are hall of famers, Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace.

Shaq’s hate comes with ulterior motives

Rudy Gobert Minnesota Timberwolves shaquille o'neal shaq
Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Shaq didn’t use his mic time just to fire shots at Gobert, though. He wanted to throw his 2024 Defensive Player of the Year vote in for Miami’s Bam Adebayo, who currently holds the 4th-best odds (+3000) to win 2024 Defensive Player of the Year, a longshot behind the far and away favorite, Rudy Gobert (+1000).

It’s clear that Shaq Fu, who played 3 1/2 seasons in Miami, has a soft spot in his heart for another Heat center, but his propaganda isn’t going to stop Rudy Gobert from winning defensive player of the year over Bam Adebayo. Either that or he wants Rudy to bang down low with big men that just do not exist anymore. If there were centers in the league trying to post up down low on a nightly basis, it would be Gobert tasked with “shutting them down”.

Related: If A-Rod, Marc Lore Miss March Payment Deadline, Timberwolves Purchase Could Be Canceled

The Big Aristotle wants to philosophize over how a big man defends Nikola Jokic? Why do you think that is? The Nuggets have matched up with the Heat twice twice this season. Bam held him to 18 and 12 points, respectively… and Miami lost both games.

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