Recently, Rudy Gobert and Shaquile O’Neal have been connected in an indirect back-and-forth about how the three-time Defensive Player of the Year may fare against the Hall of Fame center one-on-one. When Gobert’s name arose on O’Neal’s podcast, with someone saying he’d score just 12 points on the Utah Jazz big man, O’Neal replied, “Yeah, in three minutes.”
That quote traveled across social media, to which Gobert proclaimed he’d “lock his ass up” defensively against O’Neal. Skip Bayless addressed Gobert’s comments Tuesday on UNDISPUTED and was quite critical of the All-Star.
Rudy Gobert says he would’ve “locked” Shaq up:
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) May 10, 2022
“Rudy, you gotta wake up, you gotta wise up, and you gotta shut up, and give it up,” Bayless said. “You are nothing but a finesse defender. You are a fake tough guy. I’m sorry. Because I see too many drivers of the basketball who are 6’2″, they just go right up into you and dunk on you. I don’t know what you’re thinking. I know you’ve gotta sort of defend your honor on social media. You are barking up the biggest, wrongest tree you’ve ever barked up on this one. … (Shaq) was the most dominating offensive force in the history of this league.”
Bayless went on to extol the virtues of O’Neal’s offensive prowess in which he blended power and grace as a big man to overwhelm everyone inside the paint. As that 95-second clip traveled across Twitter, Gobert caught wind of it and responded.
Would u speak to me that way if you were standing in front of me @RealSkipBayless ? I’m cool with the constant disrespect and opinions about who i am as a player and i CHOOSE to let these things slide but it seems like people are getting way to comfortable… https://t.co/YZ0wjwtuE3
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) May 11, 2022
Utah’s early playoff exits over the past few years often bring Gobert’s game to the forefront of discussion. With its season ending a few weeks ago, this is yet another example and one that has caught the eye of quite a few voices in the media world. Gobert, though, seems to have heard enough of the critiques of his game and will be replying in kind.