Vlade Divac had some bold things to say about Shaquille O’Neal.
Former Sacramento Kings center Vlade Divac was recently named the team’s vice president of basketball and franchise operations, and one of his bosses is former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Shaquille O’Neal, who is part owner of the Kings.
At the hands of O’Neal, Divac endured some of his toughest postseason defeats, most noticeably the highly controversial 2002 Western Conference Finals in which LA won in seven games.
In addition to that bloodbath of a series, O’Neal’s Lakers and Divac’s Kings duked it out in the playoffs in 2000 and 2001, with Los Angeles emerging victorious both years en-route to a championship.
But apparently O’Neal’s continuous playoff dominance of Sacramento didn’t leave a lasting impression on Divac, who said Shaq wasn’t that talented, but rather just powerful:
“I’ve been in basketball a long, long time and I have to say he’s the most talented big guy I have ever seen,” Divac said Monday. “Shaq wasn’t talented, he was just strong. I was talented, but I wasn’t strong.”
Divac went on to call O’Neal one of the most dominant players ever. O’Neal, who knocked Divac and the Kings out of the playoffs in three straight seasons from 1999-2001, is now a minority owner with the team and one of Divac’s bosses.
“He always was my boss,” Divac said.
O’Neal was certainly a barbaric force on the block, but what made him an all-time great was his ability to dominate the game with brute strength and incredible skill. Taking a quick glance at Divac and O’Neal’s head-to-head numbers provide’s more evidence that Vlade’s claim is (obviously) outlandish.
Many consider O’Neal to be one of, if not the, most dominant player this game has ever seen and rightfully so. It’ll be interesting to see if he issues a respond to Divac, but knowing Shaq he probably will, and it wouldn’t be the first time.