Vlade Divac: ‘Shaq Wasn’t Talented, He Was Just Strong’

Vlade Divac continues to make eyebrow-raising headlines as he settles into his new front-office role with the Sacramento Kings.

Divac considers Kings center DeMarcus Cousins the most talented big man he’s ever been around, and claims that his old nemesis (and current boss) Shaquille O’Neal was merely a very strong man during his playing days.

Vlade’s Kings lost to Shaq’s Los Angeles Lakers in three consecutive postseasons from 1999-2001, and Divac says that O’Neal’s sheer strength was the difference.

Per the AP:

“I’ve been in basketball a long, long time and I have to say (Cousins is) 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.


Divac spent much of a recent eight-game road trip with the team and said he believes there is enough offensive talent but the team needs to improve defensively. The Kings are finishing up their ninth straight losing season. But Divac senses optimism because of the construction of a new arena and the presence of Cousins, who is averaging 23.7 points and 12.3 rebounds and made his first All-Star team. […] “I want to see him be a leader of this team, truly the leader and make everybody better,” Divac said. “He can do it with his passing, with the ability to score. He can do everything.”