The Shaq-JaVale McGee beef became so nasty their moms got involved

– [Clara] JaVale McGee
and Shaquille O’Neal. Two NBA big men of different generations, different body shapes,
and different skill levels who did not particularly
care for one another. Shaquille O’Neal has been an analyst for most of JaVale’s
career, but Shaq and JaVale do not have your average
analyst-player relationship. They have a sort of big
brother-little brother relationship. Not in the sense that
Shaq looked out for JaVale or anything like that, no, no,
no, certainly not. (chuckles) More in the sense of… Shaq teased JaVale until
it became a real fight so vicious Mom had to step in. Seriously, their moms got involved. Though this beef took
place after Shaq retired, the centers did know each
other as players a bit. In their first on-court meeting, McGee was a rookie, Shaq
was in his 17th year, and Shaq was unstoppable. He played so well he bucked the notion he was getting too old
for back-to-back games. He totally destroyed
JaVale, which lines up. Shaq was a 14-time All
Star with four rings. McGee was a rookie still learning
to manage his giant body. There were no hard fouls,
no words exchanged, no on-court beef at all, but Shaq wasn’t gonna be
on-court for much longer. In 2011, Shaq retired and
joined “Inside the NBA,” and just from the way he was introduced, it’s clear he wasn’t going
to be your typical analyst. – [Announcer] Shaquille O’Neal! – Please note the T-shirt design in which Shaq is not just a Greek god, but the other hosts
are feeding him grapes. He soon debuted a completely
new segment, “Shaqtin’ a Fool,” a blooper reel in which
he and the other hosts make fun of players for
doing make-fun-able stuff. It could be seen as mean-spirited, and I’m sure players
don’t love to be featured, but it’s packaged as nothing
more than playful teasing. And like, come on, bloopers are funny. Laughing at others makes me
feel better about myself. And I’m not the only one, because “Shaqtin’ a Fool” is super popular and has grown to include
several 30-minute segments throughout the years. Shaq went after everyone, from end-of-the-benchers
to the best of ’em. Nobody was safe, and the guy
who was especially not safe? JaVale McGee. From this authoritative goaltend to this ill-advised no-look pass to this bobbled alley-oop, McGee was on “Shaqtin'” a lot. In fact, JaVale McGee has been on the most “Shaqtin’ a
Fool” episodes out of anyone. Other guys have been
on the show repeatedly, but Shaq called JaVale his favorite, and even had a signature cadence
when announcing his clips. – Number three, JaVale McGee!
– Oh! – [Clara] JaVale would often appear more than once in an episode. Sometimes, instead of showing
five different players, Shaq would just show five
different JaVale mistakes. McGee’s the only player to win “Shaqtin’ a Fool” MVP more than once. He was featured so much the other hosts started defending JaVale, pointing out when Shaq’s
clips were kind of a stretch, like this questionable goaltend. – [Kenny] Actually, that was
a pretty good block, I think. – [Charles] I don’t think
that was goaltending! – [Kenny] I mean, that’s, Shaq? Shaq, I dunno man. – [Clara] But their
protests weren’t heeded, most likely because
Shaq was scream-laughing too hard to hear anything. How’d JaVale feel about all this? Well, in 2013, he did an
interview on “Inside the NBA,” and it seemed like everything was cool. Shaq was nice. – [Shaq] All the type of stuff
that you used to do, I used to do back in the day, so we just wanna say continued success and we love you brother. – [Clara] JaVale was funny. – [JaVale] No press is bad press,
that’s all I gotta say. – [Clara] JaVale did throw
in some charged language. – [Ernie] What is it that you like
about “Shaqtin’ a Fool?” – [JaVale] I don’t watch “Shaq in the (beep),” I mean “Shaqtin’ a Fool.”
(hosts laugh) – [Clara] But that didn’t do
anything to slow Shaq down. Even JaVale getting injured
didn’t slow Shaq down. In the 2013-14 season,
JaVale fractured his tibia and only played five games, yet he showed up on “Shaqtin'” four times and received two mid-season awards, Worst Moment and the
Lifetime Achievement Award. The award special was in March. JaVale hadn’t played since November. Did JaVale really deserve
all this ridicule? He was making all these flubs, but as a player he wasn’t that bad. With the Wizards, he gradually improved until he was a starter. He was in the dunk contest
in 2011, and I gotta say he did not look like the
embodiment of clumsiness when he dunked three balls at once. (audience cheers) In 2012 he was traded to Denver where he played fewer minutes
but had some big games, most notably a playoff game
where he grabbed 14 rebounds and scored 21 points with showmanship. He bounced around the league
and struggled with injuries for a bit, but in 2016
he joined the Warriors and played the best basketball
of his burgeoning career. And despite the fact that JaVale showed up on “Shaqtin’ a Fool”
more than most players, he didn’t turn the ball over that much more than other players. His turnover percentage
during his “Shaqtin'” years was in the 12-17% range, even dropping below 10%
when he joined the Warriors. In contrast, Kendrick Perkins, another frequent “Shaqtin'” star, had a turnover percentage in the high 20s, even getting up to 32%
toward the end of his career. But what the stat sheet doesn’t reveal is just how spectacular it was when JaVale turned the ball
over or otherwise messed up. He wasn’t a terrible player, but… My god. The fall is one thing,
but why throw the ball as hard as you can while falling? What instinct is that? Plus, it’s not like JaVale
had a perfect reputation before Shaq went after him. In college, he once kicked
the ball into the stands because he was upset at a foul call. But hey, I’m sure we all have stuff we regret from college. In the pros, when McGee got
his first triple-double, it took a long time to get that 10th point even though the Wizards
were running plays for him. When he finally got it, he
celebrated by hanging on the rim and getting a tech, all while
the Wizards were down by 20. He did block 12 shots, but that wasn’t the story
coming out of the game. The story was JaVale McGee is obnoxious. Whether he deserved it or not, McGee eventually revealed
he actually wasn’t cool with being made fun of on
national TV night after night. But Shaq didn’t care, and kept
putting JaVale on the show, sometimes for pretty minor infractions. When Kenny tried to
defend this clip of JaVale getting a steal but missing a layup, Shaq just shouted his lack of journalistic integrity over him. – [Kenny] It’s wasn’t a bad–
– [Shaq] I know, it don’t matter! – [Ernie] You know
what, I have a feeling– – [Shaq] It don’t matter,
any more mistakes today, he won’t be on the show, nope!
– It’s personal, Kenny! – Then Shaq noticed McGee’s new haircut. In response, JaVale accused
Shaq of acting like a minstrel, comparing his chicken outfit
to that worn by Bert Williams. Bert Williams was the first
black comedian on Broadway, but he also had to wear blackface and play demeaning roles
for all-white audiences. Shaq responded in what I’m
assuming was an attempt to lighten the mood without
losing the upper hand. Then Shaq fired back a little harder. He aired a new segment
just for JaVale McGee. It was a loose parody of the
“Doctor Strange” movie trailer that strung together over a minute of JaVale McGee lowlights, many we’d seen previously
on “Shaqtin’ a Fool,” including this fall-and-toss
move from his Denver days. The segment was too much for JaVale, who headed back to Twitter with an… expressive… message for
the veteran big man. He also implied Shaq was weird for thinking about him
first thing in the morning, but he was tweeting all this at four a.m. Shaq responded, and while
it’s never a good idea to put threats of violence
in writing, ya gotta remember Shaq threatened to smack
people all the time. Especially Charles Barkley. JaVale replied with the charged language we’ve seen from him before. Shaq accused JaVale of
only having confidence because he’s on the Warriors. JaVale said Shaq makes fun of him whether he’s on a good team or not, in his own words, of course. Also, JaVale called himself a grown man in the same sentence he talked about nuts in mouth via emoji. Just something I found interesting. Shaq implied some violence
again, as he’s wont to do, and added some hashtags calling McGee a few different kinds of asses. Five minutes later he hit
JaVale with a nickname and a Photoshop job that’s rude, but impressive for just five minutes. He had to source the
photos and everything. Later that day, during business hours, the Warriors reached out to Turner Sports to talk about Shaq picking on JaVale, and Turner was like, “Yeah, we know.” after the Warriors
practiced that same day, Steve Kerr defended his center and went on to say “Shaqtin’ a Fool” was actually doing damage
to JaVale’s reputation, using himself as an example. Kevin Durant also
fielded JaVale questions, sticking up for his teammate
and adding that Shaq had some unfortunate moments of his own. Shaq definitely did not want
this beef to spill over to KD, but he had no intention
of laying off JaVale. While Kerr and Durant
couldn’t get through to Shaq, there was one person who could. His mom. Lucille O’Neal told Shaq
to leave JaVale alone. She was defensive of her son’s show, but felt the Twitter
feud crossed the line. Since moms were allowed in on the beef, JaVale’s mom spoke up too. Pam McGee is a former WNBA
player and a college star who won back-to-back NCAA championships. Her reputation had shielded her son from criticism in the past,
and she did not exactly agree with Lucille O’Neal’s
characterization of “Shaqtin’ a Fool.” Shaq said he’d listen to his
mom, though it should be noted he also never admitted
he did anything wrong. A few months later, JaVale did
more than simply not mess up. He won a championship. He was a contributor off the
bench throughout the playoffs, including scoring 16 points in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. And, perhaps best of all, Shaq was true to his word
and left JaVale alone, though you might think spraying champagne directly at a camera at close range would be too much for Shaq to ignore. The next year JaVale and the
Warriors won it all again, but he still hadn’t escaped the damage “Shaqtin'” had done to his rep. His championship status
was often an afterthought to his time as the unwilling
star of “Shaqtin.'” He joined the Lakers in 2019, and his younger teammates look up to him but also say things like, “He’s actually a student of the game. “He actually knows basketball.” These should be
inappropriate things to say about a center about two rings. Despite the lingering effects, it seems the beef has run its course. Shaq has gone so far as
to say he has no beef, and things never got
out of hand with JaVale, despite written evidence to the contrary. And to this day, Shaq
hasn’t featured JaVale on “Shaqtin’ a Fool” again. He even complimented a
JaVale highlight in 2018. – [Shaquille] This is a
great play right here. JaVale McGee, he’s back!
– It’s good to have you back! – [Shaquille] (laughs)
JaVale McGee is back! – [Clara] This playful-turned-nasty beef has been put in a Tupperware container and shoved to the back of the fridge. Sure, there’ll always be a faint smell on JaVale due to “Shaqtin,'” but the beef won’t ever be fresh again. Thanks for watching, everybody. Don’t forget to click
Subscribe, and while I have you, may I suggest this
Shaq-Dwight Howard beef? Or perhaps you’d enjoy this
episode of “Weird Rules,” where Shaq smash real good.

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