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March 5, 2009 3:40 PM

Shaq, This is Why People Hate You

Over the past few months, there has been a meteoric rise in the skill and popularity of the one-time ruler of the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal. With his re-emergence on the court, there has been a similar re-emergence of off-the-court Shaq. Sure, over the past few years he would pop up now and then, with his Kobe rap, or in some quirky interview, but he hasn’t been the dominating media force that he once was; that is, not until recently.

At the beginning of his off-court re-emergence, everyone loved Shaq, remembering only the good parts of his past, the funny big man who loves to joke around and have a good time. His Twitter feed endeared him to Internet dorks across the country. But in the past few weeks, we’ve been reminded of why so many of us hated Shaq during his heyday with the Lakers.

After a recent game with the Raptors, he called Chris Bosh “RuPaul,” which was still funny, if a little mean spirited. But his most recent comments about Stan Van Gundy, Dwight Howard, Jeff Van Gundy, and Patrick Ewing are nothing short of an immature egomaniac complaining like a baby and bragging like a jerk.

Lines including:

“He (Howard) came with the same old, stale Patrick Ewing move” (hey Shaq, that move destroyed you – Howard out played you all game and his team won)

About Stan: “First of all, none of his players like him” and “Him and his brother and even the legend on the bench [Ewing] ain’t done what I’ve done in my whole career. So flopping would be the wrong choice of words.”

Um…excuse me? What? What does you flopping have to do with past highlights of your career? Oh, yeah, you won a championship, clearly you can never flop or commit any other wrong doing, because you had a good career.

Shaq goes on to make more jealous and angry comments about Van Gundy, comparing him to a broke navigational system, again commenting that his players hate him, calling him a frontrunner many times (not sure I understand that one; he is coaching a good team, how exactly does that make him a frontrunner?), and calling him a bum.

Look, Shaq, I want to like you, I really do. But when you say things like this, it makes it hard. You are acting like T.O. and every other prima donna in sports who feels the need to blast others in the league simply to hide their own insecurities.

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