Shaquille O'Neal has never been buddy-buddy with Dwight Howard. He didn't like it when the younger Howard was being called the best center in the league when he was still a force in the league, and he really didn't like it when Howard adopted the Superman moniker which O'Neal claims as his own.
"The pressure that he has been feeling in Orlando has just multiplied by three now," O'Neal said in comments released by TNT. "The first thing the great Jerry West did when I signed with the Lakers is he walked me into the Forum and told me to look up. He showed me all the great big men that played before me and how many championships they won. The Lakers have a tradition of having great big men. He has a lot of work ahead of him. If he thinks the Orlando Sentinel was on his case when he didn't perform, guys like (Los Angeles Times columnist) Bill Plaschke, they don't play."
When Howard was in Orlando, his winning was a nice side story, a pleasant surprise. First-round playoff exits aren't ideal, but they were happy just to still be a good team. That ain't L.A., so to speak. They demand winning, at the highest level, consistently. He's not expected to win games, or to challenge OKC. He's expected to win titles, period.
O'Neal understood that, an even with his conditioning issues, brought three titles to Tinseltown. That's the standard that Howard faces now. He's got the team to do it, but he's got to go out and get it done.
Otherwise, man, you won't believe what O'Neal will say about him next.