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Shaquille O'Neal Has Blunt Response To His Recent Criticism

A closeup of NBA legend Shaq, Shaquille O'Neal.

SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 09: Shaquille O'Neal reacts during the 2016 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Symphony Hall on September 9, 2016 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Shaquille O'Neal has long taken shots at some of the top current players in the NBA, and in recent weeks, has taken pretty clear shots at the likes of Donovan Mitchell, James Harden, and others. We've seen others, like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, take shots back at Shaq, and other retired former stars who have been so critical of their contemporaries.

The moment with Mitchell was particularly galling, because it happened on air. With the Utah Jazz guard on with Inside the NBA on TNT, Shaq told Mitchell that "you are one of my favorite players but you don’t have what it takes to get to the next level... I said it on purpose because I wanted you to hear it. What do you have to say about that?”

Naturally, Mitchell didn't really know what to say, and gave a short, one-word response: "Aight." Obviously no one expects to be hear that during an interview, and he didn't prepare for Shaq to come over the top that way.

There's been a lot of backlash to Shaq for how he's approached things in the last few weeks. He took to Instagram to strike back, saying that because he has "G14 classification," Shaq's term for his status as a championship player, he "knows what greatness is."

He also recently posted a slideshow, including photos with him alongside former star teammates like Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Gary Payton, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James, to say that he knows great guard play.

It does seem like Shaquille O'Neal is trying to motivate players like Mitchell, but he's going about it in a very heavy handed way. And it doesn't make for the best television if all you get when you tune in to TNT is O'Neal and Charles Barkley complaining about modern players.