Shaquille O'Neal conceded that some criticism of current NBA players boils down to bitterness over their bigger checks.
When firing back at Shaq's Inside The NBA colleague last week, Kevin Durant said Charles Barkley and other "hatin old head" players-turned-analysts "can’t accept that we making more bread than them." O'Neal isn't denying that claim.
"You think I'm happy Rudy Gobert's making 250 [million]?" Shaq asked. ... God damn right we get mad, we get petty."
He added that there's "a little bit of truth in our criticism."
Per Spotrac, O'Neal made around $286.3 million in career earnings over 19 seasons. He peaked at garnering $27.7 million in 2004-05. Before free agency begins Friday, 38 players are set to receive more than $28 million next season.
That list includes Gobert, who's entering the second season of a five-year, $205 million extension. It appears Shaq is still harboring some animosity toward the Utah Jazz center.
If it makes Shaq feel any better, the $3 million he netted as a rookie in 1992 is now worth $6.35 million when accounting for inflation. Besides, "I didn't have it as good" is almost never a good reason to root against someone else having it better down the road.