NBA legend Shaquille "Shaq" O’Neal recently came out of rap retirement to debut a brutal diss track against player Damian Lillard.
Shaq is most known for his athletic prowess, but he also had a successful rap career back in the day, and when Lillard tried to downplay that, the New Jersey native hit back at him mercilessly.
Shaquille O'Neal aka DJ Diesel at the Rehab Beach Club pool party in Las Vegas, Nevada on Aug. 13, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images
The back-and-forth was triggered after Lillard, while on "The Joe Budden Podcast" last week, implied that Shaq’s rap success was due to his prominence as a basketball player and not his lyrical expertise.
Shaq said he had to come out of retirement to "spank one of these undisciplined children."
After a co-host asked the Portland Trail Blazers guard: "You think you got better music than Shaq?" he replied:
"I think I rap better than Shaq. I’ve heard Shaq’s stuff. …I think he was viewed as Shaq. People weren't looking at him like this is a real rapper. It was like, ‘That's Shaq rapping,' so of course, it was a big deal."
Shaq’s response was swift. The LA Lakers legend came out of rap retirement with an almost four-minute diss track posted to Instagram with the caption: "I except all challenges."
In the track, Shaq said he had to come out of retirement to "spank one of these undisciplined children," before reeling off reasons why Lillard was in no place to disrespect him.
Shaquille O'Neal at "Carpool Karaoke: The Series" in Los Angeles, California on Aug. 7, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images
Shaq, 47, rapped:
"You see this flow it got a little Hall of Fame on it/Dame shoot jumpers/Shaq still bang on it
…MVP candidates, you are not one/Platinum plaques on my wall go and get you some/Lyrically, I'm three-time Finals MVP."
He went on to say Lillard wasn’t even as good a basketball player as Trevor Ariza and added that the Blazers point guard couldn’t match up to other top NBA point guards like Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook.
Lillard posted his response diss track on Tuesday, and we’ll have to wait and see
After Shaq dropped his track, Lillard decided to weave some lyrical threads and replied the 15-time NBA All-Star with an equally savage record.
According to Hollywood Life, the 29-year-old titled his diss track "Reign Reign Go Away," an apparent mockery of Shaq’s 1996 single "You Can't Stop the Reign."
While Lillard initially tried to downplay the Hall of Famer’s music career, this time he went for his basketball achievements, implying that Shaq’s titles were won for him by teammates.
ESPN shared a snippet of the shade-filled lyrics of Lillard’s track:
"We both could be working at Kinko's and Kobe won you them rings, though/Even in Miami, won that on the strength of Flash."
Per the sports website, Shaq won four NBA titles in his career -- three with the Los Angeles Lakers while playing alongside Kobe Bryant and one with the Miami Heat while a teammate of Dwyane Wade.
Lillard posted his response diss track on Tuesday, and we’ll have to wait and see if Shaq will be stretching out this rap battle any longer.