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Shaq says rap battle with Damian Lillard was ‘just for fun’

Shaq helps driver

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR PAPA JOHN’S - Papa John’s International, Inc. announced today, Friday, March 22, 2019, that NBA Hall of Famer and restaurateur c will be joining Papa John’s as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors and as an investor in nine Papa John’s restaurants in the Atlanta, Georgia area. In addition, Mr. O’Neal will enter into a marketing agreement to be an ambassador for the Papa John’s brand. (Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Papa John’s International, Inc.)


Shaquille O’Neal was not a terrible rapper, at least for an NBA player. But Damian Lillard is undoubtedly better, and of course the two have a natural rivalry given the historically bad blood between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers.

The two NBA giants traded barbs in back and forth diss tracks earlier this year, but now Shaq says that it was all in good fun. Speaking to Rolling Stone, O’Neal pointed out what was probably pretty obvious at this point: that mixing it up with Lillard was a means to drum up some chatter and have fun in the recording studio.

Via Rolling Stone:

“The thing that went on for me and him was just for fun,” Shaq declared at this week’s “NBA on TNT American Express Road Show” event in Los Angeles. “I think he’s really, really good and he’s very talented. We had fun.”

“We all come from the same place,” O’Neal says, diplomatically. “My thing is, if you say you’re better than me, I accept the challenge. If he says ‘I look better than you,’ then okay, I gotta hit the gym and work out; if he says ‘My shoes are whiter than yours,’ then I gotta go to the store and pick out a better pair. Other people take that stuff personally but I don’t,” he explains. “If you challenge me, I’ll step up to the challenge.”

I’m just glad we got this sorted out before it became… sordid.