Rudy Gobert takes the high road, responds to Shaquille O’Neal’s criticisms with pointed message

Brad Sullivan
1 Min Read

After being on the receiving end of a brutal verbal shot from Shaquille O’Neal, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert made an effort to take the high road and put an end to the uproar over his new contract.

Last month, Gobert signed a five-year contract extension with the Jazz worth $205 million, an amount that O’Neal ridiculed because of Gobert’s relatively modest stats.

The 28-year-old Gobert recently began his eighth season in the NBA and over the course of his career (including six games of the 2020-21 campaign), Gobert has averaged 11.7 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.4 assists per game.

Debate over whether Gobert’s numbers are worthy of such a lucrative contract was seemingly inevitable, but O’Neal’s sarcastic comments ratcheted up the mini controversy.

O’Neal made hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of his Hall of Fame career and still earns plenty of money as both a basketball commentator and product endorser.

With Gobert now having offered his opinion of O’Neal’s thoughts, the expectation is that the focus will now go back to Gobert’s performance on the court and his contributions to the Jazz.

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Brad has written on a variety of both NBA and NFL topics and has worked previously as a sports information director at the collegiate level. A lifetime fan of sports, he's witnessed countless great moments in different sports and understands that stories can be compelling from both the perspective of winners and losers. As a frustrated fan of Cleveland sports, he experienced something unprecedented when the Cavaliers won the city's first championship in 52 years.