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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Dan Lyons

Shaq Shares Extremely Honest Take on Draymond Green Choking Out Rudy Gobert Tuesday

Warriors forward Draymond Green was ejected and hit with a five-game suspension by the NBA after putting Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a chokehold during a skirmish early in Tuesday’s game. Plenty sounded off on the ever-aggressive Green after the ejection, but one NBA legend doesn’t blame him at all for his actions—Shaquille O’Neal.

During a Thursday interview with the Los Angeles Times, O’Neal made it clear that if he was in Green’s position, he would do the same thing to defend a teammate.

“I’m from the old school, so you always stick up for your guys. Like, me and you are doing the interview right now—somebody come put their hands on you, I’m gonna beat them up ’cause you’re my guy,” O’Neal said, per Times staff writer Chuck Schilken.

NBA great Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t blame Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green for putting Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert in a chokehold.

Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers great seemed to acknowledge that he does not share the majority opinion on the issue.

“But you get these people who say it was wrong—like, I try not to be a hypocrite. I would’ve did the same thing,” he continued. “I’m not gonna sit here and say he was wrong, he shouldn’t have did it—he probably shouldn’t have did it, but WWSD, what would Shaq do? Shaq would’ve did the same thing.”

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Among those who disagrees with O’Neal is Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who said Green “took it too far” in separating Gobert from teammate Klay Thompson.

“He hung on for six, seven seconds, and it was a terrible visual for the league, for Draymond, for everybody,” Kerr said. “Draymond was wrong. He knows that. It was a bad look. The five games was deserved. And we move forward.”

O’Neal’s take probably shouldn’t take many by surprise though, as he made light of the situation by putting Inside The NBA co-host Charles Barkley in a headlock during the postgame show on TNT Tuesday night.

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