Shaq’s Aggressive Comment Leads to Awkward Exchange With Donovan Mitchell: TRAINA THOUGHTS

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1. Loyal Traina Thoughts readers know awkward live TV moments and tense interviews are two of the things we love most in life. We’ve featured tons of these clips over the years, and we have another one today.

After the Jazz’s 129–118 win against the Pelicans on Thursday night, Donovan Mitchell joined TNT’s Inside the NBA crew. Mitchell, who scored 36 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists, probably thought he was going to do a fluff interview and then head to the locker room for a shower.

However, Shaq had other plans.

Here’s how it went down:

Shaq: Spida, this is Shaq. I said tonight you are one of my favorite players, but you don’t have what it takes to get to the next level. I said it on purpose. I wanted you to hear it. What do you have to say about that?

Mitchell: All right.

[Long pause]

Mitchell: That’s it.

Shaq: That’s it?

Mitchell: That’s it.

Shaq: O.K., cool. I wanted you to hear it.

Mitchell: I’ve been hearing that since my rookie year. I’m just gonna get better and do what I do.

Shaq: Good. That’s what I wanted to hear you say. Love your game, brother. Keep it up.

Mitchell: Appreciate it.

Geez, how would the interview have gone down if Shaq didn't like Mitchell’s game? Here’s poor Spida riding a high off a win and a great performance in a meaningless January regular-season game and Shaq comes out guns blazing with “You don’t have what it takes to get to the next level.” I didn’t see that one coming. But we thank Shaq for giving us the awkward live TV moment.

2. Everybody bow down to Kyle Brandt for rocking this Aaron Rodgers–Tom Brady T-shirt on Friday's Good Morning Football. Absolutely awesome.

3. It happened before my time as a baseball fan, but Vin Scully's call of Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run and the ensuing scene that took place on the field has always been one of my favorite sports moments. Today there isn't a chance in hell a couple of fans could go onto the field and run the bases with a player who just went deep, but it happened with Aaron and it was great. RIP.

4. Many of you enjoyed the Bernie Sanders meme roundup featured in Thursday's Traina Thoughts. If you want even more Bernie memes, check out the replies to this tweet I sent out Thursday. My Twitter followers came through with a lot of gems.

My two favorites:

5. Andrew Siciliano is the guest on this week's SI Media Podcast. The host of DirecTV's popular RedZone channel talks about the biggest changes he's seen with the channel over the 16 years it's been on the air, what it was like for him to miss Week 6 of the 2020 season because of a false positive COVID-19 test, why he couldn't watch RedZone that day, why he likes the unbalanced schedule between 1 p.m. ET games and 4:25 p.m. ET games, what the end of the regular season is like for him, which NFL player he'd like to see as the subject of a Last Dance–esque documentary, why he thinks sports programs should not cover pro wrestling, his desire to cover politics in a RedZone way and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Stitcher.

You can also watch the podcast on YouTube.

6RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Just some outstanding wholesome content to get your weekend started.

7SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: Steelers tight end Vance McDonald announced his retirement this morning. It would be criminal for me not to feature this play today.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.