Shaq says he won't mention JaVale McGee again because his mom told him to stop

TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal’s feud with Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee is over, at least from O’Neal’s perspective. In an interview with The Undefeated’s Mike Wise, O’Neal said that his mother told him to “stop this silliness,” so he won’t mention McGee’s name on the air during “Shaqtin’ A Fool” again.

“I have orders from the top to leave it alone,” O’Neal said past midnight on Saturday.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver?

“No,” O’Neal said. “My mama. Just say Shaq’s mom called him, told him, ‘Stop this silliness. Leave him alone.’ So that’s the end of the beef. You won’t be hearing about it from my side anymore. Mama has spoken.”

Said Lucille O’Neal earlier Saturday evening from her Orlando, Florida, home, “It’s not funny anymore, seeing the things they’re saying to each other. They need to squash this and move on.”

“Charles tells Shaquille all the time on the show, ‘I’m going to slap you,’ but he doesn’t mean it,” O’Neal’s mom said. “My take on it? People are asked to send in videos for Shaqtin’ a Fool. This isn’t just Shaquille’s idea. It’s all in fun. Now, I understand how after a while JaVale could get tired of it. Look at how many times he’s been laughed at.

“Bottom line, the mouth gets us in a lot of trouble. This is now reminding me of young kids on the playground, where one boy gotta have the last word. Sometimes you need to just walk away.”

This is good news for those who are tired of O’Neal targeting McGee, a group that includes his Warriors teammates. Kevin Durant called O’Neal “childish” this week after TNT aired a satirical “Dr. Strange” trailer mocking McGee. 

McGee’s mother, Pamela, also spoke with The Undefeated, and she not only stuck up for her son, but called for O’Neal to be fired for being a bully:

“He cyberbullied my son,” Pamela McGee said in an emotional, 30-minute conversation. “Totally inappropriate. Shaquille needs to lose his job or be suspended. The NBA needs to make a stand.”

“If you really want to get technical with it, it’s bullying,” Pamela McGee said from her home in Northern Virginia. “We all have little jokes and stuff. But when you continue to pick on just one person – as his career is resurrecting – there’s nothing to it but bullying. And it’s unacceptable. You can’t allow someone to continue to do this who represents TNT and the NBA.

“He is a representative of TNT and the NBA. Broadcasters are held to a higher authority. He should lose his job.”

Asked if she thought her son went too far by using “cooning” to depict O’Neal’s antics on the show, which include jabs at players of all ethnicities, Pamela McGee said, “No.”

“OK, the NBA is 98 percent African-American. [73 percent black, according to a 2015-16 study]. He is bullying men of color. When you bully men of color who play your same position … we as a society have to stop condoning ignorant behavior. And, yes, as African-Americans, we have always had individuals who will sell out their communities for two barrels of rum. This is straight-up black-on-black oppression.”

This past week, the Warriors reportedly contacted TNT with concerns about O’Neal’s treatment of McGee and how it has affected his reputation. Judging by O’Neal’s comments, it sounds like they no longer have to worry about this. It’s unclear, however, if this is all totally over -- McGee will probably be asked about his mother’s comments in the next day or two.

CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories