Earlier this month, Dwight Howard announced he was signing with the Taoyuan Leopards in Taiwan. Shortly after, in his debut with the Leopards, the eight-time NBA All-Star dropped 38 points, 25 rebounds, nine assists, and four blocks. Then, Shaquille O’Neal mocked Howard’s dominance by belittling the league itself, saying “this league reminds me of the Lifetime Fitness league.”
Howard, who’s been a longstanding source of jokes and mockery throughout his career from O’Neal, took exception to Hall of Fame center’s comments.
“You gotta stop hating. I ain’t never, in my life, came at you about your basketball career, your family, your kids or anything of the sort,” Howard said in a message directed toward O’Neal during an Instagram Live session. “Do not disrespect my teammates in this league and these people in Taiwan like that. That is highly disrespectful and is hating. You too old to be hating. You too big to be hating. You supposed to be Superman.”
Dwight Howard responds to Shaq saying the Taiwan league reminds him of a Lifetime Fitness league.
“That’s highly disrespectful & hating. You too old to be hating. You too big to be hating. You supposed to be Superman. The original Superman is hating?” pic.twitter.com/jLQLjQa6Dj
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 25, 2022
Howard later called out O’Neal’s “hating” of JaVale McGee and said it almost cost McGee his NBA career. Since retiring and entering the media space, O’Neal’s crafted a persona partially based on aggressive, often unfounded criticism of current NBA players. Howard has often received some of the most prickly criticism. It’s clearly something that doesn’t sit right with him and he used his platform to address it, not just for himself but everyone.