Shaquille O’Neal watched Zion Williamson’s performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night very closely. In the end, he didn’t like what he saw.
Obviously the TNT broadcaster is never one to bite his tongue, and he didn’t break that pattern following the Lakers’ 133-89 walloping of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Fans at home were pretty shocked by how out of shape Williamson looked during the game. And they weren’t alone.
Shaq made it a point to call Williamson out for being lazy in the aftermath.
Shaq on the deficiencies in Zion’s Williamson game:
“I was just like him.” pic.twitter.com/bEWBwTvJuJ
— Oh no he didn’t (@ohnohedidnt24) December 8, 2023
“He does not run hard,” Shaq said.
“He doesn’t seal. He doesn’t demand the ball. Like you got a small guy and we talk about it all the time… You can’t let a little guy guard you.”
Shaq also pointed to some non-basketball things that he didn’t like about Williamson right now.
“He doesn’t have that look,” Shaq continued.
“Like, I’m not the greatest ever but I know a look when I see it. … Tiger Woods had that look. Jack Nicholson had that look.”
The reason why Shaq came down so hard on Williamson in this segment is because he sees the youngster repeating a lot of his own mistakes.
“I was just like him,” Shaq admitted.
“I was just like that but people used to pull me to the side. I had a guy who always used to say hey man, okay you had 24 points but you’re not working as hard.”
NBA Fans Notice Something About Bronny’s Friend At Lakers Game (Video): https://t.co/lHlMCnubhX
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 7, 2023
Shaq isn’t really saying anything here that isn’t public knowledge already.
The Pelicans drafted Williamson with the intention of him being an all-time great .Thus far, that hasn’t materialized. Will Williamson improve at some point going forward in the way Shaq clearly hopes he will? Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.