O’Neal says he wishes Howard well, this despite their long-standing and mostly one-sided feud, and believes the 33-year-old has a chance to win a title with the Lakers next season should he “stop kidding around.”
Per The Dan Patrick Show (via USA Today):
“Listen, I wish him well,” O’Neal said. “My only advice to him is he needs to dig, dig deep. Really deep. I know he’s a big man, he’s worked hard, he wants to win a championship, and he can get it done.
” … My message to the great Dwight Howard is, I know everybody’s counting you out. I know everybody’s messing with you. But if you dig deep down and play with that anger, and play with that ferocity, and stop kidding around … Use LeBron [James] and Kyle Kuzma, because you’ve actually got a good team.
“In Miami, I was 34, same as Dwight. On my way out. People thought I was washed up when I left L.A., but I dug deep down. I said ‘you know what? I can do this.’ If he does everything like he’s supposed to do – focus, no joking, no playing – just dig deep down and really, really want it, they could possibly win.”
Dwight, meanwhile, believes Shaq’s words are “irrelevant” to what he’s trying to accomplish in his return to Los Angeles.
“It’s okay, I’m not here to talk about Shaq,” Howard said in an Instagram Live post late Wednesday. “What he said, what he did. It’s irrelevant to what I’m trying to do.
“So, don’t talk to me about what anybody else said about me. My focus is on one thing.”