‘I Don’t Make Excuses’: Shaquille O’Neal Blasts LeBron James for Whining About NBA Schedule

Shaquille O'Neal
The Associated Press

Former NBA great and TNT commentator Shaquille O’Neal took a shot at Lakers star LeBron James for whining about how hard the 2020-21 NBA schedule was for the players.

O’Neal was particularly offput by James’ arrogance in the face of millions of Americans who lost their job because of the coronavirus.

“When you’re living in a world where 40 million people have been laid off and I’m making $200 million, you won’t get no complaining from me,” Shaq told CNBC on Tuesday. “I’d play back to back to back to back to back.”

“I’m not knocking what anybody said,” Shaq continued, “but me personally, I don’t complain and make excuses, because real people are working their tail off and all we gotta do is train two hours a day and then play a game for two hours at night and make a lot of money … So, my thought process is a little different.”

Most recent NBA seasons end in June and restart in October. This allows for four months of what James calls “rim rest,” but due to last year’s coronavirus policies, the 2019-20 season ended in October and the 2020-21 season started only two months later. James was quite unhappy about all this.

Despite saying that he wasn’t “knocking” anyone else, O’Neal’s comments seem aimed directly at James who complained about the NBA schedule in a series of June 16 tweets:

However, even as James seemed to be claiming that there were more player injuries last season because of the scheduling, the league hastened to note that injury rates didn’t change much between 2019 and 2021.

“Injury rates were virtually the same this season as they were during 2019-20 while starter-level and All-Star players missed games due to injury at similar rates as the last three seasons,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass told NBA reporter Marc Stein.

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