Following the first round loss to Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was asked whether the season was a failure, to which he responded that there’s no failure in sports. Several fellow NBA stars and fans alike were fine with what Antetokounmpo had said, but Shaquille O’ Neal, the 15-time All-Star, wasn’t on board with his stance.
During the recent edition of “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” the NBA legend was quoted as saying, “The problem is when you hear the word failure, there’s so much negativity in the world, people go to the bottom. But you need to realise that the greatest of us have failed.” “The great ones relish failure in this business of sports,” O’Neal added.
Then, the 4-time NBA champion took his own personal example and compared it with what’s wrong in the current sporting scene. He remarked, “You know, this participation, buddy environment that we live in, it’s changing the game. I always tell people I’m 50 years old and I’m not rewiring my training for the new era, this new style that we’re living. I’m not doing it.”
Shaquille O’Neal also mentioned the fact that Milwaukee Bucks, as the number one seed, got beaten by Miami Heat, the number eight seed in 5 games and said, “When you’re touted as the best, you’re expected to win, and if you don’t, it’s a failure. It’s not bad. I’m not a failure as a player, but I failed the city, I failed the team and I failed to reach my accomplishments. Period. Point blank.”
“So, he (Giannis Antetokounmpo) won two years ago, and we all know when you win, what do they expect you to do? Go back-to-back. Win again. They lost in the second round, ok, but they came back with vengeance. You are the number one seed there is. And then you lost to an eighth seed. You can’t lose to no eighth seed and say it’s not a failure. It’s a failure,” Shaq added.