How Shaquille O’Neal Responded To Ime Udoka, Celtics Scandal

'I know they're going through a lot'


September 27

The tidal wave-generating scandal that has uncovered an abundance of updates surrounding Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka for his actions that violated the organization?s policies, which have resulted in an even greater plethora of reactions and takes from playersboth current and former — to those of the media.

One notable name, globally recognized as a figure on and off the court, elected to take a much different approach than most.

Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and former Celtic Shaquille O’Neal took an eggshell walking approach when the topic of discussion was raised during an episode of “The Big Podcast With Shaq.”

“I’m going to step down from this conversation,” O’Neal said. “I was a serial cheater. It would be crazy and blasphemous for me to get up here and say, ‘Boom, boom, bam.’ I can’t do that. I know these guys personally. I know they’re going through a lot because I went through a lot.”

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Udoka, 45, made his debut season as an NBA head coach with the Celtics, battling through a pair of Game 7’s in order to book Boston’s first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. However Udoka was suspended by the organization for the 2022-23 season.

The former NBA great played his stance on the matter right down the middle.

“I just wish that certain parties weren’t involved,” O’Neal said. “I’ve known Nia Long for a long time and I like her. … They’re going through a lot of family stuff. I’m never the guy that’s gonna get up here because of my platform and fake it.”

The future between Udoka and his run with the Celtics — or the NBA — remains unclear.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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