The TNT crew threw Shaquille O'Neal a belated birthday party on their March 7th broadcast -- his birthday is March 6th. After the Clippers vs. Nuggets game he was presented with a big cake and a goofy hat and was granted an interview with JaVale McGee.
O'Neal has attempted to make a caricature out of McGee with his "Shaqtin a Fool" segment and McGee was asked about his thoughts on the segments last night - here is how he responded:
Pretty apparent that McGee was not comfortable with the interview at all. From his refusal to look straight into the camera during many of his answers, to his breezy responses to the questions and greetings.
O'Neal has taken his fair share of shots at Dwight Howard, McGee and others since becoming a broadcaster. On a weekly basis he takes shots at his co-host Charles Barkley and the back-and-forth is usually pretty funny as Barkley typically gets the better of O'Neal.
It was clear in McGee's interview that he does not enjoy chatting about the segment that tries to make him look bad and he let everyone watching the post-game interview know it. I say good for him. At some point McGee needs to stand up for himself and serve notice that he doesn't care for how people view him.
O'Neal had a long and successful NBA career. He played from 1992-2011 and won four NBA titles. McGee should have asked Shaq if he thought he could have won more titles had he not come into training camp so out of shape for so many years. For the most physically dominant player to ever grace the NBA floor, O'Neal made a fool of himself plenty.
Shaq also tried to extend an olive branch of sorts by letting McGee know that he too was the focus of bloopers during his younger days. I am glad McGee did not take the bait, but McGee also could have done a much better job being more direct about his criticism with the TNT guys. This interview didn't do him any good and he could possible face a fine from the NBA for his re-titling of Shaq's segment.
This is all a part of McGee's growing process.