Shaquille O’Neal has been roasted by many after his awkward interview with Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell. Both Kevin Durant and LeBron James shut down O’Neal, saying people need to ignore criticism from “old heads.”
Now, the politicians are getting involved. Utah Rep. Kera Birkeland introduced a house resolution Tuesday that honors Mitchell over O’Neal. The resolution doesn’t accomplish anything politically. It seeks to recognize the service work Mitchell has done in the community, and asks that Utah consider “Spida,” Mitchell’s nickname, as the official state arachnid.
It also tears into O’Neal. Birkeland’s resolution attacks O’Neal on-court performance, ripping him for his 55.4 playoff free throw percentage. It credits Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade for carrying O’Neal to titles, a known sore spot of O’Neal. Finally, it mentions the Jazz eliminated O’Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers from the playoffs in 1997 and 1998.
Birkeland doesn’t stop there, however. The resolution also rips O’Neal’s off-court activities, calling out “Kazaam” and its five percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and accusing O’Neal of under-developing “his hot takes almost as well as his 1990’s ‘Shaq Fu’ video game.”
The resolution passed 67-5.
There’s an argument to be made politicians have other things to worry about, and shouldn’t spend time on something as stupid and meaningless as this. The “Shaq Fu” pull was pretty deep though, especially for a politician.
Shaquille O’Neal defends Donovan Mitchell criticism
Despite receiving criticism, O’Neal hasn’t backed down from his stance. O’Neal posted a picture on Instagram on Monday arguing he knows what an elite guard looks like.
Mitchell has mostly shrugged off O’Neal’s words. Mitchell didn’t engage O’Neal during the original interview, instead opting to let his play speak for itself.
That strategy seems to be working out. Mitchell is currently averaging a career-high 24.3 points per game, and the Jazz are 12-4 in the Western Conference.
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