NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal ignited a rap beef with Portland Trailblazers star Damian Lilliard last week after the latter made an appearance on the Joe Budden Podcast to promote his recent album, Big D.O.L.L.A.
During the episode, Lilliard — who has long been open about his pursuit of a rap career while playing in the NBA — was asked to compare his talents to those of O’Neal, who released his own rap albums in the early 1990s.
“I think I rap better than Shaq. I’ve heard Shaq’s stuff,” said Lillard, 29, according to Rolling Stone.
“I think he was viewed as Shaq, though. People was like, this Shaq,” Lillard continued. “It wasn’t like, Shaq and Biggie. People weren’t looking like this a real rapper. It was like, ‘That’s Shaq rapping.’ So, of course, it was a big deal.”
The accompanying four-minute-long video, which has been viewed nearly 200,000 times, features a puppet version of himself rapping behind a boom box.
“Take your time to respond, there is no hurry, you’ll never be Westbrook, never be Curry,” the 47-year-old TNT Sports host raps in the song.
O’Neal then suggests Lillard isn’t as good as his Western Conference rival, LeBron James.
“What’s in your wallet, American Express or Visa, talkin’ like your Bron, you ain’t even Trevor Ariza,” he says.
Lillard didn’t take long to respond to O’Neal’s diss, releasing his own NSFW track on SoundCloud on Tuesday.
The track, titled “Reign Reign Go Away,” goes through O’Neal’s entire career, even referencing his starring vehicle, Kazaam, and Shaq-Fu, his ill-received video game.
But the line in the song that likely cut the deepest was the reference to O’Neal’s former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant.
“We both could be working at Kinko’s and Kobe won you them rings, though,” Lillard said.
O’Neal and Bryant had a contentious relationship during their time on the Lakers, which eventually led to O’Neal being traded to the Miami Heat to join an up-and-coming Dwyane Wade — who Lillard also referenced in his song.
“Even in Miami, won that on the strength of Flash,” he said, using Wade’s nickname.
As of Wednesday, O’Neal has not responded to Lillard’s song, which has been played on SoundCloud more than 1.1 million times.