The personal brand of Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal goes beyond how he dominated every opponent in the paint during his 20-year playing career. The four-time NBA champion is known for his outgoing personality, however sometimes that charisma lands him in Twitter controversies.
When the Lakers acquired Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards before the trade deadline, O’Neal stated that he did not know who Hachimura was because he doesn’t watch Wizards games. The disrespect towards Hachimura caused current Phoenix Suns All-Star Kevin Durant to respond to the Diesel.
After Durant and O’Neal exchanged their blows on Twitter about their basketball knowledge, O’Neal addressed his comments on Hachimura once more on his podcast, The Big Podcast with Shaq. O’Neal said he now knows who Hachimura is and apologized for his initial comments, although he still got his name wrong, via Clutch Points:
"Let me apologize to Rudy Hachimura. I didn't know who he was because I never watch the Bullets play, but he's a fine role player… I now know who you are."
Shaq on new Lakers forward Rui Hachimura
(via The Big Podcast with Shaq)pic.twitter.com/ajhgVfjYBm
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) February 17, 2023
Of course, Durant was ready to correct O’Neal for screwing up Hachimura’s name by calling him Rudy:
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) February 17, 2023
O’Neal is correct in Hachimura has been a fine role player for the Lakers since the trade. Averaging 10.7 points and 6.1 rebounds, Hachimura has proved to be a key acquisition to a Lakers team in the postseason tournament hunt.
As long as Hachimura continues to shine in his role, the attention he deserves will continue to come, but so will more Lakers wins as their desire to be in the playoffs stays adamant.
Beasley believes Pelicans victory can be start of playoff push for Lakers
The Lakers’ 120-102 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday was special. Not only was it fun to see Anthony Davis get back to scoring like his usual self, but it was the first game where the entire Lakers team was healthy and featured the new trade additions.
One of the acquisitions as part of the three-team-trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves was Malik Beasley. He finished the night with eight points and was a pivotal part in the new look Lakers offense that featured shooting and spacing for the first time in a long time.
During his postgame interview, Beasley said that he believes this win against the Pelicans feels like the beginning of L.A.’s playoff push. With nothing but positive vibes in the Lakers locker room, the team heads into the All-Star break with cheerful hearts.
L.A will need to come out firing with stacked wins after the All-Star break. Despite the purple and gold still needing to make up for their 2-10 start to the season, the new-look Lakers seem to have all the confidence in the world to make at least a play-in tournament appearance.
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