The Shaq-JaVale McGee beef has reached 'threats of violence on Twitter' status

Ball Don't Lie
JaVale McGee, and the phone Shaq uses to film his funny videos. (Getty Images)
JaVale McGee, and the phone Shaq uses to film his funny videos. (Getty Images)

After the Golden State Warriors came back from a first-half deficit to once again dismantle the Los Angeles Clippers in the nightcap of TNT’s Thursday night doubleheader, you might have expected the evening’s “Shaqtin’ a Fool” segment to focus on Warriors firebrand Draymond Green, who returned from the All-Star break with a command performance that saw him rip into future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce and throw yet another questionable kick in the direction of an opponent. Alas, that’s not how things shook out.

With “Shaqtin’ a Fool,” and Shaquille O’Neal, and the Warriors, it’s always going to be about JaVale McGee. Always, always about JaVale.

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During Thursday’s “Inside the NBA” broadcast, O’Neal and company eschewed a typical edition of the “Shaqtin’ a Fool” blooper compilation in favor of a (frankly, pretty well done) parody of a movie trailer for a version of “Doctor Strange” featuring the ever enigmatic McGee:

After pitching in four points and four rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench in the win, McGee caught wind of the goof and — as he did last month — took to Twitter to air his grievances using some, um, colorful emojis and acronyms:

Spoiler alert: he was not done responding.

Not content to leave 140-character slights unanswered, O’Neal returned fire in the wee small hours of the evening:

… and JaVale was all too eager to engage:

(We remind you that McGee has, on separate occasions, referred to Shaq’s signature segment as “Shaqtin’ a Coon” and compared O’Neal to a minstrel, the comedic performers of the 19th century who performed in blackface and lampooned black people as lazy buffoons.)

Shaq, unsurprisingly, didn’t much care for that:

… but JaVale stood his ground:

… leading to Shaq resorting to Photoshop:

… and then either both parties went to bed, or someone took their phones away from them.

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O’Neal is far from the only one who has laughed at JaVale’s miscues over the years, but McGee has made it clear that he doesn’t find Shaq’s segment or its effect on his reputation funny in the least. He told Anthony Slater of the Bay Area News Group this summer that “it’s just really disappointing that grown men, 50, 40 year olds are having ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ of a player, and then making it a hashtag and really just trying to ruin someone’s career over basketball mistakes.”

O’Neal briefly offered McGee — who has done good work this season to rehabilitate his image and resuscitate his career playing as a reserve big man for the West-leading Warriors — an exemption from appearing on “Shaqtin’ a Fool” if he could go three straight games without making the kind of glaring mistake that has landed him on the countdown in the past. O’Neal instead continued to clown on McGee, even as JaVale kept grinding away in Golden State; McGee clapped back, and Shaq doubled down, and now we’re left with middle-of-the-night threats passed back and forth over Twitter between two very large men.

Now that we’ve reached the point where a 44-year-old Hall of Famer and national TV commentator is threatening to “smack the s***” out of a third-string center on the West’s best team, I’d hope that this is the end of the line for the Shaq and JaVale beef. Given the way they’ve both operated to this point, though, that seems like wishful thinking. No violence on the dance floor, guys; let’s keep it on wax, huh?

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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