“I Haven’t Heard Your Name Mentioned All Year … Step Up” | Shaq Keeps It Real On Anthony Davis And The Lakers

Image Credit: Twitter @BleacherReport screen shot

Shaquille O’Neal is never one to shy away from his truth.

The world gets a dose of it, most notably when he holds commentator court opposite his basketball nemesis, Charles Barkley, during “NBA on TNT” games.

However, recently during an episode of “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” the big man kept it all the way real on his thoughts about the new Lakers ensemble athletic cast, especially Anthony Davis.

Shaq Speaks

“Westbrook ain’t the problem. So the last week, I saw some LeBron stats, but I didn’t see no AD stats; that’s the problem right there. I speak from an experienced place. If you’re going to be a one-two punch, be a hell of a one-two punch.”

The Lakers, now 16-14, occupy the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference. However, they entered Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bulls without Davis.

On Friday, Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jaden McDaniels collided with Davis’ left knee. Davis eventually crumpled in the tunnel on the way to the locker room.

Davis, who is expected to be in tandem with LeBron James output-wise, underwent an MRI on Saturday in Chicago, revealing a sprain.

When Old Problems Meet New Problems

According to the team, he will spend the next four weeks rehabbing his knee before being reevaluated.

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“Don’t let the one who’s the older of the one-two punch take all the ‘do this, do that.’ Listen, he’s very talented. He shoots 19 percent from the three; LeBron got Western Conference player of the week and had fun while doing it.

“What are you doing, Mr. AD? Where did he go? I ain’t seen your name mentioned all year. So, if you’re going to be a one-two punch, step up.”

Last season, Davis missed half of the Lakers’ 72 regular-season games because of an Achilles injury and a calf strain. With the addition of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Rajon Rondo, the world expected the squad to run through the league; however, that has not happened.

Magic’s Perspective

However, another Lakers legend is more optimistic. Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson defended the team and dished out trust-the-process vibes.

“You know, you gotta give him time,” Magic said to TMZ. “Gotta give the whole team time. 16-13 is not where we wanna be, but we still got time. Still got time.”

Magic added that although Anthony Davis has had a slow beginning, he isn’t worried about Davis.

“Sometimes people get off to a start that they know they can play better,” Johnson said. “Sometimes you struggle in the beginning. AD knows he can play better, so he’ll put it together. I’m not worried about him. He got a lot of talent.”

AD Speaks

The Lakers big man and eight-time All-Star recently expressed his opinion with the new minor injury in focus.

LeBron James Gifts Anthony Davis With No. 23

“I feel like when we’re healthy, we’re a pretty good team,” Davis said in the postgame press conference. “We started playing well, start getting a rhythm with each other, and then all the COVID stuff happened and then more injuries. So it’s not where we want to be, but we’re not in a terrible spot.

“We’re still in a good spot, for a team who feel like they can, could have done more, or win more games, games we should have won, and we’re still in a good spot. So, hopefully, we can stay afloat with all the stuff going on around the team and being able to still pursue our goal, which is to win a championship.”

Davis underwent an MRI on Saturday in Chicago, revealing an MRI sprain. Now the Lakers have to attempt to rise through the Western Conference ranks given the latest AD setback.

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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.