When tuning into TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” you can count on each member of the show’s esteemed panel to speak their mind on the league’s hot-button topics. Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal is certainly no exception.
With the TNT crew together for the first time since Draymond Green was handed an indefinite suspension for striking Suns center Jusuf Nurkic on Dec. 12., it quickly became a topic of discussion. Per the NBA, the indefinite length of the suspension is tied to Green’s “history of unsportsmanlike acts,” with reports adding that the four-time champion will begin a path of counseling to better deal with challenges outside of basketball.
During TNT pregame on Dec. 19, O’Neal sounded off on the suspension and had plenty to say about Green beginning counseling as a result.
“I hate that y’all put that narrative on him,” a seemingly aggravated O’Neal began. “The man don’t need counseling — on the court, he don’t need nothing. Off the court, he’s a solid human being — he’s a good man. …
“Everybody has to have a certain character on the court. My character, Ernie, I will elbow you until your damn teeth come out your mouth. I was mean on the court but off the court, I’m a different person. He does a lot of crazy things on the court that he shouldn’t but don’t put the narrative out that he needs counseling. There’s nothing wrong with Draymond.”
“There’s nothing wrong with Draymond Green”
Shaq and the Inside the NBA crew debate the suspension for the Golden State Warriors forward (and their TNT coworker) pic.twitter.com/TnsjSctRYe
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) December 20, 2023
O’Neal challenged the notion that Green needed counseling, citing the same history of unsportsmanlike acts that the NBA referenced in its memo.
“Four or five years ago when he was doing that, y’all were saying ‘oh he’s a great power forward. Kenny, he don’t need to double. He’s undersized. He plays tough.'”
The Big Aristotle added that NBA stands for “Nothing But Actors” as he challenged Charles Barkley’s toughness, adding that the subjects of Green’s latest acts should seek counseling for not defending themselves or retaliating against the Warriors forward.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the decision for Green to begin a path of counseling was discussed and agreed upon by him, his representation and Warriors GM Mike Dunleavy.
NBA executive VPJoe Dumars spoke on Green’s road back to the floor during an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take.”
“There’s no specific, ‘hey, you have to check this specific box and everything’s good.’,” Dumars said. “We want to see him make progress, get better, come back and be the great player that he’s been for such a long time in Golden State.”
While O’Neal may be correct in his assessment that there’s nothing inherently wrong with Green, all reports indicate that counseling will ensure that everything is right with him before he returns to an NBA floor.
Source : ESPN.com