Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard just threw some serious shade at legendary center Shaquille O’Neal.
In a few of the lyrics in his most recent diss track, “Reign Reign Go Away,” he suggested that O’Neal got too much credit for his four NBA championships, saying that “Kobe [Bryant] won you those rings though” and “even in Miami, won that on the strength of Flash (Dwyane Wade’s nickname).”
Bryant may still not get enough credit for the huge role he played in the Los Angeles Lakers’ three straight championships in the early 2000s, but the stats show that O’Neal played at least as large a role in them.
In the 2000 NBA Finals, he averaged 38.0 points and 16.7 rebounds per game en route to his first world title in Los Angeles. The following year, he averaged 33.0 points, 15.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists a game in the championship series, and he followed it up with 36.3 points and 12.3 rebounds a game in the 2002 NBA Finals.
But when it comes to Lillard’s diss about O’Neal’s role in the Miami Heat’s 2006 NBA championship, there’s some truth to it.
By then, O’Neal was merely an All-Star and not the dominant force he was earlier in the decade. He averaged just 13.7 points per game in the championship series that year, placing him just third on the Heat in that category.
Dwyane Wade, on the other hand, had one of the better Finals series in history, putting up 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.7 steals per game as he won series MVP honors.