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Exclusive: Shaquille O’Neal Breaks Silence on Nikola Jokic Controversy After Ex-Agent’s Big Claim

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Imagine this scenario. The entire Denver Nuggets are watching Inside the NBA. Charles Barkley carefully opens the envelope. “From the Denver Nuggets, Nikola Jokic”. The roster celebrated around the Joker. Jokic only barely raised his hands, almost forcibly celebrating. It was his third time claiming the silverware in four years. It was a phenomenal achievement, one cementing the playmaking centre amongst the pantheon of greats. Moments later, when speaking with Shaquille O’Neal, a horrifying moment took place. The Big Diesel openly told the Joker he didn’t deserve it. Why you wonder? When speaking with our NBA correspondent, brand building expert Leonard Armato provided the true origins of his uncalled disrespect towards the Nuggets center.

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He specified how there is a method to Shaq’s madness. His words string but that’s never the purpose. The man who built the Shaq brand explained further.

Vishal: “Shaq went pretty viral in the news when he was speaking to Nikola Jokić and he said he thought that SGA should be the MVP… Shaq has been accused multiple times [for] putting down big men. I am curious to get your thoughts on where these comments come from?” 

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Armato: ““You have to understand the brilliance of Shaq. He does this very often to motivate people. It’s not just with big men, he has done this with other athletes before and chided them to perform at a high level. It’s sort of worked, I remember him did it with Donovan Mitchell, told him to step up his game if he wanted to be a true superstar. He would do it in order to motivate.”

It’s not just Mitchell and the Joker. Shaq has done this before with many other NBA players. He famously began an online war against Rudy Gobert. He even targeted James Harden disagreeing with his sorrow break-up with the Houston Rockets. It is a combination to foster motivation. He did it when creating fake beef with David Robinson. Later, his G-14 classification compelled him to help players.

Of course, the confession came from Armato, a man very close to Shaq. There is something about affirming the facts themselves. Shaq proved the sports marketing titan right. In a picture posted by EssentiallySports’ ‘Slam N Dunk’ on Instagram about Armato’s explanation, the Big Aristotle commented, “yup”. 

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Understanding the complex ways of Shaq

Continuing the conversation, Armato further provided a deep insight into Shaq’s mastermind. It didn’t take much to prove it. He just provided Vishal Kolar with Jokic’s brilliance after being the victim of the Big Diesel’s harsh comments.

Armato: “I will give you a great example with Nikola Jokić. He loves Jokić. He called him the best in the league. He kind of acted as if Jokic wasn’t stepping up to the game that Jokic was capable of, being the best player in world, and guess what happened, Jokic had just lost two games in a row. And what happened in the last two games? Jokic stepped up and all of a sudden the Nuggets, that people had all counted out, said they were dead they won two games in a row in the Timberwolves court and Jokic performed like an MVP like the best player in the world.”

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After listening to Shaq’s criticism, Nikola Jokic turned into the Joker. Showcasing every hidden card in his repertoire to lead a scintillating comeback. Denver won three straight games before losing Game 6. Jokic dropped over 35 or over in two of those three games.

Despite people doubting Shaq’s intentions his mind seems to be at the right place. He knows the results of having a chip on one’s shoulder. Shaq has lived it. The four time champion has the rings on his fingers are proof of his method’s validity. as he says, it all depends on the how the player in front perceives it. Nikola Jokic displayed the perfect way.

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