Shaquille O’Neal Criticizes Dwight Howard for Being Too Nice

You’ll never believe this, but Shaquille O’Neal is still not a very big Dwight Howard fan. The longtime critic says that Howard needs to become meaner on the court—Dwight should be more like Shaq, according to Shaq. Per ESPN: “‘He’s too nice,’ O’Neal said. ‘I’m a connoisseur of giggling and playing and all that and making you laugh and playing with the fans, but when I cross that line, I’m ready to tear your face off. I don’t care who it is. You could put one of my aunts or uncles out there, and I’m going to give him these elbows in their chest and I’m going to throw it down in their face. That’s what you have to do. … He’s just too nice. If I was him, I would get into the same mood I was in.’ […] Some believe the pressure of playing in Los Angeles and living up to the legacy of former big men such as Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and O’Neal might be too much for Howard, who might be content in a small market with smaller expectations. O’Neal hopes that’s not the case with Howard. ‘I just know when it comes to pressure, you either run away from it or you handle it,’ O’Neal said. “The first day I got to the Forum, the great Jerry West said, ‘Son, look up.’ And I saw Kareem’s jersey, Wilt’s jersey and all the great jerseys. He said, ‘Shaq, I know you do movies, I know you do albums, but you need to get at least two or three championships while you’re here or this move will be considered a bust.’ So for me, it was a lot of pressure but I like the pressure. Especially when you see other greats say that he’s like a Wilt or he’s like a Kareem. I knew I had to step up. He should have known all of this when he signed with L.A. He should have known what he was getting into. My advice to him is to look pressure in the face and give it the one-two combination and knock it out.’ O’Neal said he relished the pressure and made it his goal to be the best center in Lakers history. ‘Kareem was the best big man in Lakers history, and I wanted that title,’ O’Neal said. ‘That’s the attitude he needs to have. All the giggling and smiling [is] too much. The fact that he’s the so-called best big man in the league and doesn’t get doubled every time, that’s telling me something. That’s telling me teams respect him but they don’t fear him. I would rather be feared than respected.’ Howard has heard O’Neal’s criticisms in the past and has usually brushed them off, but O’Neal said he’s hard on Howard because he wants him to be better than he is and live up to his potential.”