Shaquille O'Neal says it's sometimes hard for a coach to get his respect when some of his players are earning 20 times more than him. O'Neal, a four-time NBA champion, retired over a decade ago and some expected him to pursue a coaching career in the league.
But O'Neal hasn't even come close to coaching in the NBA since retiring as he has been mostly working as an analyst. In an interview with UPROXX, O'Neal was asked about the Kevin Durant and Steve Nash situation in Brooklyn.
This offseason, Durant requested from the Nets to fire Nash. In the end, nothing happened as Durant rescided his trade request and Nash remained the team's head coach. But O'Neal doubts it can work after everthing that has happened.
O'Neal on why he has never considered coaching
"Before I answer the question, I’m gonna tell you a little story," O'Neal told UPROXX. "A guy asked me the other day, 'you ever think about coaching?' And the answer is no.
He said why? When a guy makes 20 times more than you, it’s gonna be hard for them to respect you. It shows that they don’t respect him. All the 'I want him gone, I want him gone,' and then to come back and say we worked it out, nah, it ain’t that easy.
As adults, we can have a heart-to-heart, we can iron it out. But it’s still right here. So when things don’t go right, they’re gonna blame it on him. So, he’s gonna have to demand their respect. As a player, if you know you were better than a former player who’s now a coach, it’s gonna be hard for you to, in tough situations, listen to him.
So, it’s gonna be tough. I know the coaches I played for, they put their foot down. Sometimes you got to put your foot down, even if the player makes a $50 million, you got to put your foot down, especially 8f they ain’t gonna step up, anyway."
The Nets still have one of the most talented teams in the league as they are led by Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons. It remains to be seen if the Nets can bounce back this season and win the title.