Nia Long’s close friend Shaquille O’Neal has broken his silence on Ime Udoka joining the Brooklyn Nets after his suspension from the Boston Celtics for having relations with a female staff member.
According to Essentially Sports;
Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal recently gave his take on the ongoing Ime Udoka issue resonating in the NBA world. It was recently announced that Udoka might soon be hired as the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Given that the former Boston Celtics coach was involved in a huge controversy, many are quite skeptical about his future with the Nets. However, Shaq unexpectedly spoke out in Udoka’s support.
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal often manages to surprise people with his opinion. The whole league condemned Ime Udoka for his actions and felt that the one-year suspension was well-deserved. However, Shaq, on the other hand, stated that the punishment was too much in comparison to what Udoka had done. The former Boston Celtics head coach was reportedly involved in a consensual workplace relationship with a female employee. It is worth noting that Udoka has been engaged to actress Nia Long since 2015. The couple has a child together who was born in 2011.
Interestingly, Shaq is good friends with Long as well. Additionally, Shaq had previously refused to comment on Udoka’s scandal as he felt that it would be hypocritical if he spoke on the matter despite being a ‘serial cheater’ himself. While Shaq did not comment on Udoka and Long’s relationship, he apparently decided to talk about Udoka and the Nets situation.
Shaquille O’Neal and his co-hosts Nischelle Turner and Anthony Adams talked about the troubles that the Brooklyn Nets are currently facing. It was recently reported that it was mutually decided that Steve Nash would be leaving the Nets. Shaq speculated that the consent was mutual because Nash too wanted to get away from everything that’s been going on in the team lately. Turner then informed Shaq that Ime Udoka would be stepping in as the new head coach of the Nets. When Turner asked for his opinion, Shaq said that it was a good thing for Udoka and congratulated him. “I think it’s good,” said the Big Aristotle on the hiring.
“I want to use the word ‘unfairly’. I think his punishment in Boston was super extreme. Punishment? Yes, but not a whole year,” added O’Neal.
Shaq felt that the franchise could have instead suspended him for few games or even half a season.
Furthermore, he said, “A whole year? I thought that was extreme. But you know, they were probably going to fire him anyway.”
The Lakers legend felt that getting out of Boston and joining the Nets would give Udoka a much needed fresh start. It has not been decided yet if the Nets would hire Udoka given that a lot of the franchise’ official is against the decision.
Flip to the next page for Shaq speaking out and more of Nia Long.