‘Shaq wants to date Bol Bol’: Shaquille O’Neal angers NBA fans by saying Bol Bol can do what Victor Wembanyama does 'a little better'
Explore Bol Bol's surprising skills that Shaquille O'Neal claims rival those of Victor Wembanyama. Uncover NBA's latest controversies and player comparisons at PINKVILLA
Shaquille O'Neal believes that Bol Bol possesses a talent level mirroring that of rookie standout Victor Wembanyama. However, he argues that Bol Bol exhibits laziness, unlike Wembanyama.
According to the LA Lakers icon, the San Antonio Spurs recruit consistently seeks to progress, demonstrating a contrasting work ethic to Bol.
O'Neal made these remarks on his program, "The Big Podcast".
"Bol Bol was the pioneer in it," quoted O'Neal. "…But Wemby is more ambitious. Bol Bol tends to slack off.
Bol could even outdo Wemby - moving behind the back, scoring three-pointers, smoothly tackling the handle, and having a good floater game. But he's just too laid back.
It remains my belief that Bol Bol first debuted as a 7-foot-5 player equipped with those skills.
I'm not claiming Bol Bol is superior, only that he initially displayed that. My counsel to Bol Bol is to show your ambition."
However, O'Neal's remarks were met with confusion among fans on Twitter, leading to a bout of instant mocking. A selection of these reactions is shared below.
Now in his fifth NBA season, Bol's top performance came last term with the Orlando Magic. He made an appearance 70 times, scoring an average of 9.1 points and 5.8 rebounds, with one steal and 1.2 blocks per game.
Bol Bol's NBA Future: A time-ticking challenge
Since Bol's transition to the Suns this summer, he's been struggling to secure playing time. When comparing his career performances to what Wembanyama has been delivering, they pale in comparison.
Wembanyama, at just 20 years of age and in his rookie season already surpasses Bol in performance, with an average of 20.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.9 assists in his 37 games. His season is proving to be more successful than any Bol has had.
Although Bol indisputably possesses talent, Wembanyama is already exhibiting signs of his potential, while glimpses from the Suns' big man remain fleeting. But at 24, Bol still has ample time to turn his career around.
That's where the tips from O'Neal could prove crucial. Bol needs to take the initiative, put in more effort, and refine his skills.
He needs to earn his place in Phoenix's lineup, demonstrating his abilities at the NBA level.
This season, Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren have been grabbing attention with their performances.
There's no reason why Bol can't establish himself as another exceptional, modern-day big man, albeit already a step behind.
Holmgren and Wembanyama are in their debut seasons (Holmgren had to sit out last season due to a foot injury), providing them with more scope for growth and development.
O'Neal’s remarks are a clear attempt to provoke a reaction from Bol. He wants Bol to prove himself a vital player for a contender; otherwise, his time with the Suns may be his final opportunity for real NBA playing time.
Eventually, teams will lose faith that they can coax the best from him. Once the league moves on, Bol runs the risk of fading into oblivion, while the spotlight continues to shine on Wembanyama and Holmgren.