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Kareem says Shaq didn’t get help because he didn’t ask

Nov 10, 2011, 12:07 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Among the seemingly countless interesting bits coming out of Shaquille O’Neal’s new book — hitting stores next week, if you still buy your books in stores — were some swipes at Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Shaq said that Kareem offered him no help through his NBA career. Which seems believable because Kareem is a bit standoffish.

But Kareem responded on his Facebook page (via the Los Angeles Times) that Shaq didn’t ask for advice and didn’t take it the one time it was given.

“As a pro I never approached Shaq because I thought he was pretty successful dunking everything and I assumed he didn’t want my help,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Additionally, I was never on the coaching staff of any of his teams. I was never unfriendly to him and I would talk to him, but Shaq was enjoying his success, doing it his way. He never asked me of what I thought he should be doing and he never tried to reach out to me for any instruction and I respected that decision.”

“If I had any idea that Shaq wanted to learn from me, I would have been happy to have worked with him, but all indications that I had received was that he felt he was doing fine and he didn’t need or want my help,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “I am totally surprised by Shaq’s comments as I tried to respect his privacy and never got any indication from anyone that he wanted or needed any input from me with regard to how he played the game. Shaq had a great career, and I, like everyone else, respect what he has achieved.”

Shaq’s dad is right — he didn’t really need the skyhook. People dismissed Shaq as a guy who could just dunk, but as our own John Krolik likes to point out the goal of an offensive player is to create a high-quality shot for himself (or a teammate) and they don’t get much more high quality than a dunk. If Shaq could power his way to the hoop for a dunk, he should.

But Kareem was more than one shot. Kareem came with tremendous footwork, passing skills, great court awareness, a very high IQ for the game. There were a lot of things he could have passed along.

But their personalities never really let that happen.

  1. chargerdillon - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Has anybody ever heard Shaq talk about Shaq? Feed the dog, the big diesel, the big clover, kazaam….the list goes on and on.

    In Kareems time NOBODY was going to tell Kareem what to do, and likewise NOBODY is going to tell Shaq what to do, especially when they’re racking up rigs left and right.

    If Shaq had played during Kareems time, he would’ve needed to learn to shoot the ball or develop a skyhook. In todays NBA taking a foul is almost more advantageous than making points.

    That being said, if Shaq wanted some help, MAYBE HE SHOULD TRY HAVING SOME DAMN HUMILITY

    • dexterismyhero - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      Or maybe he should have learned to shoot a free throw!!!!!!

      Clang Clang Clang…..Hack a Shaq time!!!!!

  2. mikeewright7 - Nov 10, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    I AGREE WITH chargerdillion, beside Shaq ego was way to big for anyone to helped him with his game, he was very dominant and with the help of the Dream or Kareem Shaq could have been way better then what he was.. dont get me wrong Shaq destroyed in his prime 4NbaRings 3FinalsNbA Rings, allstar, almost his whole career..But IF Shaq had work with them he would be much useful at the age he is now, he could pump fake, shoot midrange, close range jumpers etc…
    I like Shaq he was on the celtics


  3. mytthor - Nov 10, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    The biggest person Shaq could have gotten help from was himself. People like to dismiss him as a dunker but as Kurt knows he had amazing footwork, a variety of short hooks and bank shots, and was an excellent passer out of the post. While sure Kareem was an amazing student of the game and could have taught him a few things, the number one thing that could have made Shaq the greatest big man in league history would have been an extra helping of dedication to the game.

    People talk about how if he and Kobe could have gotten along they would have won 10 championships, but I disagree with that. Pissed off Shaq was the most unstoppable force the game has ever seen, and for Phil to get that out of him for his amazing playoff runs, he had to put those two against each other, use Kobe to drive Shaq, and it finally snapped. If they would have been happy go lucky together, I don’t think it works. Content Shaq isn’t capable of some of those playoff maulings he handed out.

  4. opshuns - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    I guess we can put Shaq’s book in the outhouse with the Sears and Roeuck catalogs… C’mon Shaq, be quiet and rest in all your laurels….

  5. jimsjam33 - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Kareem ,

    I’d like to apoligize for Shaq if I could . His accusations were embarrassing and I don’t know why he would attack you . You handled your response to perfection . You have lots of class.

  6. poorlittlepinkus - Nov 10, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    I hope Shaq devoted a chapter to stealing Steve Nash’s TV show idea (vs.).

  7. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Nov 10, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    Not only does Kareem exhibit a high basketball IQ, but he appears quite intelligent off the court too.

    • mikeewright7 - Nov 11, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      Not only does Kareem exhibit a high basketball IQ, but he appears quite intelligent off the court too.

      High off the court? the same guy who responded to Scottie’s outrageous quote by saying lebron is possibly the best player ever?, and addrress his note with stating why he should be called best ever? he is just as arrogant as Jordan or Shaq, he ended the letter
      All-Time Scoring Leader! he’s very intelligent but his ego is just as high as Shaq’s was maybe higher….kareem is not the Best player of all time there’s no such thing as best player you cant argue rings cause Bill, you cant say who dominanted the league Cause you have Jordan and Bill, before jordan you had high flyers Dr.J, Wilkins, and oscar was the best all around player.

  8. thetooloftools - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:19 PM

    Kareem takes the high road.

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