I don’t know the extent to which Shaquille O’Neal considers himself a member of the media. When you’re so famous you go by a nickname, you sort of transcend these kinds of labels.
But if Shaq has any level of professional pride wrapped up in his career as an NBA analyst, he will go at JaVale McGee harder than ever, for one specific reason:
The Warriors told him to stop.
Sources told ESPN that the Warriors contacted Turner officials to express concern about TNT’s years-long McGee coverage on the “Shaqtin’ a Fool” segment on the popular “Inside the NBA” show, with the team contending that the ongoing negative portrayal of the veteran center is doing unnecessary damage to McGee’s reputation.
Uh, yeah, it’s unnecessary. Of course it’s unnecessary. The whole show is unnecessary. The NBA is unnecessary. This whole thing is all just one big unnecessary entertainment operation with little or no meaning outside its constructed context, and this feud is entertaining. Besides, the main thing affecting JaVale McGee’s reputation is JaVale McGee, as is the case for everyone.
So Shaq has to go even harder now, and if McGee doesn’t like it, he has the Warriors to blame.