Shaquille O’Neal thinks he is classy for not hitting back at Kanye West after the rapper came at him online. According to Shaq, he was ‘classy’ in holding back after Kanye West went after him.
Shaquille O’Neal and Kanye got into it a few weeks ago but Shaq shut him off by not going back and forth with him on the internet. Probably, he wanted his peace of mind.
According to People Magazine;
Earlier this month, Shaquille O’Neal found himself in a social media spat with Kanye West, but the 50-year-old basketball legend was able to stay above the fray — thanks to his commitment to keeping his mother happy.
The brief back-and-forth began when O’Neal addressed Kyrie Irving’s recent controversy on TNT’s Inside the NBA. O’Neal called Irving, who has been criticized for promoting a film widely regarded as antisemitic, an “idiot,” adding that the Brooklyn Nets point guard isn’t “conscious” and doesn’t care who he offends. (Irving has since apologized.)
In response, West, 45 — who has also recently faced accusations of antisemitism and been dropped by several high-profile brands — criticized O’Neal’s business dealings with Jamie Salter, suggesting the NBA Hall of Famer is being duped by the Canadian billionaire and owner of Authentic Brand Group, a brand development and marketing company.
By the standards of O’Neal’s ultra-competitive playing days, as well as his one-time feud with the late Kobe Bryant, West’s response could have meant war. But the father of six and subject of SHAQ, HBO’s upcoming four-part docu series premiering Nov. 23, kept things brief and “classy” in a final tweet, advising the rapper to get his family business in order and “have a great day.”
“If I make a statement, I have the ability to travel through time and watch my mom as she watches it on TV,” O’Neal tells PEOPLEof the familiar voice in his head that keeps him out of trouble. “So I don’t say [what I really want to say] because she’d get upset. She’d say, ‘Baby, stop it.’ “
O’Neal, who was raised by his mother Lucille and stepfather, Sergeant Phillip Harrison, credits the latter with a strict disciplinarian style that dissuaded him from fighting as a child and ultimately made him a great basketball player — but he says he never failed to grasp the meaning behind his mother’s disapproving looks: “From 9 through 17, there were a lot of frowns.”
“People are lucky she’s still on Earth,” O’Neal continues, “because if she wasn’t here, I’d be f—ing reckless. I really would.”
O’Neal admits a bit of online jawing back and forth doesn’t bother him, but there are limits to his good graces. “I like to play,” he says. “But if it ever gets personal, I’m coming to see you. I don’t do the little kid games. The fact that [West] messed his whole life up — he did it. Nobody else did it. These narcissistic people, when they mess up it’s everybody else’s fault.”
As for his comments on West’s self-absorbed tendencies, O’Neal can concede, to a degree, it takes one to know one. “I’m a little bit narcissistic [too],” he says. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m probably a 2; [West] is an 8 or 9. A lot of people just can’t take accountability. He threw it all away being arrogant and cocky, so now he wants to throw everybody else’s business dealings under the bus?”
For now, O’Neal, who calls himself a “classy individual,” is happy to tend to his own business — including a recent contract extension with TNT rumored to be in the nine-figure range. But if the sniping starts again, he more or less knows how it will end:
Says O’Neal: “I’ll pick up the phone — ‘Yes?’ ” he says, before imitating his mom: “‘Baby, stop it.’ “
“‘Yes, ma’am,’ ” he feigns responding. “And that’s it.”
Kanye West could respond to Shaq tagging himself as ‘classy’. Just wait for it.
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