We Have Some ESPN-TNT Beef As Shaquille O'Neal Unloads on Shannon Sharpe

Shaq was not happy after Shannon Sharpe dissed the Diesel’s career.

1. The Diesel has been activated.

Shaquille O’Neal caught some flak this week after telling Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokíc that he thought the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should’ve won the MVP award.

This took place on TNT when Jokíc was being interviewed by the Inside the NBA crew immediately after it was announced that he had won his third MVP.

“You know I love you, the best player in the league. I want to congratulate you," O'Neal said to Jokić during the TNT pregame show. "But I want you to hear it from me first. I thought that SGA should've been the MVP. That's no disrespect to you, but congratulations."

Shaq’s bold, but honest, approach generated a reaction from ESPN’s Shannon Sharpe, who took O’Neal to task on his Nightcap podcast.

“Shaq should have five MVPs,” Sharpe stated. “He sees a guy like Nikola Jokić that’s not as dominant as him, gets three [MVPs] in four years, I think a part of Shaq is envious of that.

“It’s hard for me to put somebody in the GOAT conversation with one MVP,” Sharpe added. “So we going to take somebody with one regular season MVP and put him in front people that got three, that got four, that got five. If he had my work ethic, he had 40,000 points.”

This criticism did not sit well with the Big Aristotle, who used Instagram to rip Sharpe. " i kno you tryna stay relevant by gossiping on your podcast. we don’t believe you. you need more people and in case you forgot. 4 rings three finals Mvp top 50 and top 75. google me."

Personally, I’m calling this a draw. Sharpe disrespected Shaq’s career, but I’m so tired of everyone using the “you’re just trying to get clicks” line. Guess what? Every single person who has a podcast, TV show, column, social media account, whatever, is trying to get clicks.

Shaq absolutely wanted clicks with his response to Sharpe. So the “trying to stay relevant” argument is weak.

However, we do love a good media feud and a lengthy retaliation, so we tip our caps to both Sharpe and Shaq for this mess.

2. In Wednesday’s Traina Thoughts, we told you that WFAN’s Boomer Esiason teased that the NFL would be selling its two Christmas Day games this season to Netflix.

Puck’s John Ourand has confirmed the news.

3. Someone sounded VERY turned on by Luka Dončić scoring 29 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in leading the Dallas Mavericks to a Game 2 win over the Thunder on Thursday.

You can’t have a better reaction than Dončić did to the NSFW sound that interrupted his postgame press conference.

4. During Thursday’s Astros-Yankees game, former Yankees outfield Paul O’Neill revealed that the residual checks he get for his appearance on Seinfeld come in at $57.

5. After one game, the Caitlin Clark Effect is having an impact in the WNBA.

6. This week’s SI Media With Jimmy Traina podcast features a conversation with Katie Nolan.

Nolan, who is a lifelong Patriots fans, breaks down all aspects of The Roast of Tom Brady on Netflix: Best and worst roasters, what made her cringe, what was wrong with Ben Affleck, why was Bill Belichick so enjoyable, why was Kim Kardashian there, why was it so long and much, much more.

Nolan also talks about where her career is at, why she didn't join Dan Le Batard's Meadowlark Media when she was offered a job there, what she's looking for in sports media, her appearance on Celebrity Jeopardy! and more.

Following Nolan, Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY joins me for our weekly "Traina Thoughts" segment. This week's topics include more on the Brady roast, the Drake–Kendrick Lamar beef, the Kentucky Derby, Netflix possibly airing Christmas Day NFL games and more.

You can also listen to the SI Media With Jimmy Traina below or on Apple and Spotify.

You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Sports Illustrated‘s YouTube channel.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 69th birthday to the legendary Chris Berman. This will always be one of my all-time favorite YouTube videos.

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 Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.

Jimmy Traina


Jimmy Traina is a media writer and podcast host for Sports Illustrated. A 20-year veteran, he’s been covering the media industry for seven years and writes a weekly column at SI, Traina Thoughts. Jimmy has hosted the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast since 2018, a show known for interviews with some of the most important and powerful people in sports media. He also was the creator and writer for SI’s Hot Clicks feature from 2007 to 2013.