• Chelsea Harmon

The Ugliest Feud of the Season: Shaq vs. JaVale McGee

An embarrassment to the Black community.

The 2017-2018 season has been so eventful off the court NBA statisticians should add a column for trash talking to the stat sheet. From George Karl’s back and forth banter with former players, Phil Jackson’s tug of war with Carmelo Anthony and Draymond Green’s jawing at veteran Paul Pierce, just halfway through the season ESPN has more highlights of players tweeting at each other than they do of them scoring on the court.

Now, one of the ineptness free-throw shooters in NBA history (he ranks number eighth on the list of the most unskilled players from the charity stripe by the way) wants to get in on the act; TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal picked a petty name calling skirmish with 29-year-old JaVale McGee last week when he aired a highlight of some of the league’s most laugh inducing gaffes. McGee wasn’t keen to be the butt of the joke on O’Neal’s Shaqtin’ segment on TNT and tweeted the former 44-year-old pro that he should “EAD” and no, that does not stand for eat at dinner. The two became embroiled in an unsavory exchange on Twitter that has many around the league and amongst them cringing in disgust.

Shaq tweeted, “@JavAleMcGee34 now since you on a good team u wanna act like you a player now stop it u will only be remembered for a shaqtin a fool #bumass,” with Javale responding, “forget being on a good team…Ima grown man…you’ve had these [peanut emoji] in yo mouth for 5-6 years now…u thought I was just gone stay silent?”

Had the tit-for-tat ended there it would’ve been chalked up to some good old ball busting between a former and current player but then the immaturity continued to proportional levels when the contention continued with Shaq tweeting, “@JaValeMcGee34 don’t be acting like u a g I’ll smack the s**t out yo bum ass u da one that be looking stupid with your dumb ass #bumass,” to which JaVale responded via Twitter, “oh we threatening people now? Kick rocks you old bastard…you ain’t gone do sh**!!! And that’s on my momma…stick to cooning!”

What makes this ‘Twitter feud’ more than an entertaining banter between celebrities is their second exchange with threats and name calling, not just any name but two terms that are so charged with negative connotation, especially in the African American community that it makes anyone with home training cringe; to call anyone a coon or a bum ass is horrific and even worse, for those words to be spewed from one man of color to another, during Black History month no less, is a despicable display of ugliness and bawdiness. In a time where racial divisions have deepened, the last thing the public, and more specifically, young boys and men of color needed to see was two of their role models rolling in the dirt of the English language for all to see.

Shaquille O’Neal is a father to two young, African American boys; my question to him is, how would he feel if someone called your sons a bum ass? How would you respond if another Black man told your sons that he would ‘smack the s**t out’ of them? I’ll wait.

#NBA #ChelseaHarmon #Warriors #SHAQ