Now, Shaq is firing back.
He dismissed Durant for not winning a championship (yawn) then continued into Durant’s generation of players. Shaq, via Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated:
“Just put it this way: The league is soft and these guys are sensitive, period. I was sensitive [as a player] too but I never went back at [older players]. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain never said s— to [support] me. Did I cry about It? No. Kareem said in the paper one time, when they asked him, ‘Shaq is doing great, he has numbers similar to yours, what do you think?’ His response was, ‘Well, he hasn’t won a championship yet.’ I could have gone back at him, but I didn’t. I sucked it up like a real man and was like, ‘OK, watch this.’ A lot of guys, these days, when you say anything about them they start whimpering and crying.”
Retired greats ignoring up-and-coming players is one thing. Retired players going on television and frequently attacking current stars, as Shaq has done with Dwight Howard and others, is another. The latter cuts much deeper.
Besides, Shaq didn’t passively accept the (lesser) slights he received. In his book, Shaq bemoaned the way Abdul-Jabbar and Chamberlain treated him.