Shaquille O’Neal Responds To Nuggets’ Jamal Murray’s Call For Respect
Shaquille O'Neal, Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After the Denver Nuggets shocked the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals, Jamal Murray spoke about how his team felt disrespected by figureheads in the media like Shaquille O’Neal, Zach Lowe, and others.

As they moved on to face the L.A. Lakers, Murray wanted to make sure he got what he felt his team deserved. The Lakers easily handling the Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals did not help Murray’s case, as very few legitimately predicted a Denver series win.

Murray will need to work extra hard to earn respect in this series, as L.A. poses tons of matchup threats to Denver. As for O’Neal, who was specifically called out by Murray, he felt that the Nuggets had not yet earned respect, via NBA on TNT:

“Ernie, let me tell you a story that hopefully people can relate to. You guys knew my father, you know my father was hard,” O’Neal said. “After we beat Michael Jordan, I said the same thing to my father. He said, ‘What’s wrong? You’re not smiling.’ I said, ‘Ernie and the guys still don’t respect me.’ You know my father said? ‘You ain’t done nothing yet.’ And what happened the next round? We got swept by the Rockets.

“So, you want my respect? Win a ring. If you want to be on this level with me and Kenny (Smith), win a ring. Listen, how you’re playing is remarkable. We’re going to give you all the props, you hit some great shots, you’re playing your ass off. But, you want my respect? Win the whole thing. You came back down 3-1 twice, you get the golf clap. But, you want my respect? You want to impress me? Beat the Lakers and win a championship.”

While Murray is completely entitled to his feeling of the team being disrespected, O’Neal is also right to say the Nuggets haven’t earned consistent respect yet. Teams usually don’t gain national notoriety and adoration just for getting past the second round.

This is especially true when only one member of their roster — Paul Millsap — had ever even been to a Conference Finals before this season. In the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics already had respect due to the history of success with the franchises themselves and the players representing them this season.

Murray hoping to earn the respect of referees in Lakers series

Murray’s feeling of disrespect has become a theme in all phases of the game, as he feels his team hasn’t earned their due from referees as well.

“Respect is earned in every aspect,” he acknowledged after Game 1. “With your play, with how you talk to the referees. I always try to be as respectful as I can when I go to talk to them. You can ask every single one of them, but it’s something you can’t focus on.”

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Jordan Hill Expected To Miss Two Weeks With Strained Hip Muscle

With all of the lineup changes and switches employed by head coach…

Kyrie Irving, Kobe Bryant Collaborate On ‘Bruce Lee’ Nike Kyrie 3

Although Kobe Bryant retired after 20 seasons in the NBA, one means by which his impact is still seen is on the shoe…

Lakers News: Frank Vogel Criticizes Officiating In Crunch Time Of Game 5

The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat had an absolute slugfest in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and in the end it…

Lakers Ranked Forbes’ 31st Most Valuable Professional Sports Franchise

In the annual list of most valuable professional sports franchises, the Los…