Former Los Angeles Lakers star Dwight Howard signed with the Taoyuan Leopards of the T1 League earlier this month, and the 2020 NBA champ has responded to a “Life Time Fitness league” comment made by Shaq.
“Stop hating,” Howard said, directed at O’Neal. “I saw a video of you talking about me playing basketball in Taiwan, and I’m playing at the Life Time Fitness league.”
To listen to Shaq’s full segment, go to the 12:10 mark in the YouTube video below.
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“Do not disrespect my teammates and this league and these people in Taiwan like that,” continued Dwight Howard. “That is highly disrespectful, and it’s hating. And you too old to be hating. You too big to be hating.
I’m not letting the haters win. And I’m not mad. I’m passionate about the stuff that I say. This man called my teammates and this league sorry, basically. He called us a Life Time Fitness league.”
While the T1 League caps its foreign players’ salaries to US $20K, league office officials made an exception for the eight-time NBA All-Star. Howard is receiving $1 million to play overseas in Taiwan.
Dwight Howard blasts Shaq for labeling the T1 League a “Life Time Fitness league” during a YouTube podcast
On Nov. 19, in the Leopards’ 120-115 win over the New Taipei CTBC DEA, the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year ended his performance with 38 points, 25 rebounds, nine assists, and four blocks.
After watching Howard’s incredible outing, Shaq talked about the center’s effort on NBA on TNT’s “The Big Podcast.” Needless to say, the NBA Hall of Famer wasn’t impressed.
“He’s supposed to have 30 points playing against a dude 5’8”, Shaq said on Dwight Howard during the YouTube podcast. “Good job. This league reminds me of a Life Time Fitness league every Saturday when I go workout on Saturday. Great job, Dwight. I’m proud of you.”
In 1,242 career NBA appearances during the regular season, Dwight Howard averaged 15.7 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Plus, he shot 58.7% from the floor and finished with a career true shooting percentage of 60.2%.
Howard’s best performances of his NBA career were with the Orlando Magic. On January 12, 2012, in the Magic’s 117-109 win over the Golden State Warriors, the center finished with a career-high 45 points, along with 23 rebounds in 44 minutes played.
“This ain’t no Life Time Fitness league,” added Dwight Howard. “It’s dudes here that are taller than me. Everybody’s [dream and goal is to make it to the NBA], and everybody not going to make it to the NBA. But we don’t need people hating on other people because they’re not there.
While Howard’s stats are inflated due to lesser talent around him, he can still play at a high level as a soon to be 37-year-old. The former Magic center just wants fairer criticism.
Shaq is not exactly unbiased when it comes to judging other centers throughout NBA history. Simply put, both Shaq and Dwight Howard made logical points.