Shaquille O'Neal is always very outspoken. Some recent comments have rubbed fans of the San Antonio Spurs the wrong way.
The topic of shortened NBA seasons has been in the air, given the current circumstances. It is still not known when the league will begin, though it seems like the league's best players want to see the season continued and are open to making it happen. Shaq disagrees, saying that they should "scrap" the season given concerns about player health.
The 1999 NBA season is one of the most famous shortened years in league history. That season didn't begin until February, after a lengthy lockout. As a result, teams played a 50 game season, well below the typical 82.
The San Antonio Spurs wound up winning the NBA title, its first with Tim Duncan as the team's star, and Gregg Popovich as head coach. The team beat Shaq and Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals, sweeping the team. They beat the Portland Trail Blazers to make the NBA Finals, where they beat the New York Knicks in five games. Even with that dominance against the Lakers, Shaq thinks that the title shouldn't count given the nature of the season.
On the latest episode of "The Big Podcast with Shaq," the legendary center said that he only considers Tim Duncan and the Spurs to have four rings.
"I'll tell all of San Antonio to its face - you only have four. It's an asterisk. That's what I think. "I would tell Mr. Duncan to his face you have four rings. It says you have five but the asterisks don't count. In anything I do I never want asterisks about it."
As you can imagine, Spurs fans aren't thrilled.
Given the sweep during those playoffs, it is hard to take Shaq's opinion too seriously here. Whomever takes home this year's NBA Title, whenever it is awarded, certainly won't be giving it back.