Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee and hall of famer Shaquille O’Neal have never been on the friendliest of terms. After becoming the poster child for O’Neal’s “Shaqtin’ a Fool” – a segment in which he mocks NBA players for their mistakes made on the court – McGee criticized the former Lakers and Heat star in 2016 for making basketball fans think he’s a “dumb person.” McGee then took it a step further by comparing O’Neal to Bert Williams, a comedian who performed in blackface in the early 1900s, after O’Neal made fun of his hair earlier this season.
Their feud reached a boiling point last week when O’Neal mocked McGee once again, this time with a Doctor Strange parody on Inside the NBA. After seeing the video, McGee took to Twitter to tell O’Neal to “get my [nut]’s out of your mouth!” which prompted O’Neal to threaten him and call him a bum.
— Javale McGee (@JaValeMcGee34) February 24, 2017
While many believed O’Neal had finally taken it too far – The Mercury News’ Marcus Thompson II wrote about the reasons O’Neal was out of line – it wasn’t until O’Neal’s mother, Lucille O’Neal, stepped in that he realized it was time to put an end to their long-standing feud.
“I have orders from the top to leave it alone,” O’Neal told The Undefeated. “No, [not NBA commissioner Adam Silver]. My mama. Just say Shaq’s mom, called him, told him, ‘Stop this silliness. Leave him alone.’ So that’s the end of the beef. You won’t be hearing about it from my side anymore. Mama has spoken.”
McGee’s mother, Pamela McGee, on the other hand, said what O’Neal did was “straight-up black-on-black oppression.” She believes O’Neal should lose his job on Inside the NBA for picking on McGee for as long as he has.
“If you really want to get technical with it, it’s bullying,” Pamela McGee said. “We all have little jokes and stuff. But when you continue to pick on just one person – as his career is resurrecting – there’s nothing to it but bullying. And it’s unacceptable. You can’t allow someone to continue to do this who represents TNT and the NBA.”
By the way, McGee has sort of resurrected his career on a Golden State Warriors team that just clinched a playoff spot quicker than any other team in NBA history. He’s averaging 6.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game in limited minutes off the bench and he has the second best net rating on team. Even if he does help the Warriors win an NBA title this season, though, it’s probably safe to assume the odds of him ever winning the respect of O’Neal are pretty slim.