Shaquille O’Neal Criticizes Dwight Howard’s Decision to Sign With Team in ‘Little Town Like Houston’

Shaq, HowardAll right, which geography professor wants to take on a 7-foot-2 student with a chip on his shoulder?

Shaquille O’Neal apparently doesn’t like Dwight Howard very much, nor does he like the center’s decision to sign with the Houston Rockets. O’Neal ripped Howard’s choice, but it wasn’t for leaving the Los Angeles Lakers in the dust.

”It was expected,” O’Neal said to The Associated Press. ”We’ve all been in L. A., and not a whole lot of people can handle being under the bright lights. Everybody wants to do it, but when you get there, there are certain pressures. I think it was a safe move for him to go to a little town like Houston. That’s right, little town. I said it.”

There’s not much that’s “little” about Houston. It’s the No. 10 media market in the country, according to Station Index (ahead of Orlando, Miami, Phoenix and Cleveland, where Shaq spent time during his career), fourth in population among U.S. cities (behind New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago) and eighth in land area among U.S. cities, behind four cities in Alaska, two cities in Montana and Jacksonville, Fla.

So, maybe Houston is a “little city” compared to Los Angeles, but it’s about as big of a city as one can find that hosts an NBA team, by any standard. Rockets fans were already on “Team Hakeem (Olajuwon)” when talking great centers throughout NBA history. Now Howard has likely already passed Shaq in their hearts as well.

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Ah, the elation of scoring on a throwing error.

Matt Carpenter, Shane Robinson

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Ouch.

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