The NBA superstar turned broadcaster, 50, said he took the "classy" route when West, 45, tried to beef with him on social media earlier this month. It started after O'Neal criticized Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving for promoting a antisemitic film. (Irving has apologized.) West, who's been at the center of his own antisemitism controversy, then dragged O'Neal as a result. O'Neal quickly shut down West with his "Have a great day" reply.
"If I make a statement, I have the ability to travel through time and watch my mom as she watches it on TV," O'Neal told People. "So I don't say [what I really want to say] because she'd get upset. She'd say, 'Baby, stop it.'" He said if his mom Lucille Harrison "wasn't here, I'd be f***ing reckless. I really would."
O'Neal, who said he handled it like the "classy individual" he is, said a little sparring doesn't bother him, "But if it ever gets personal, I'm coming to see you. I don't do the little kid games." He said West, who has used social media to spout off hateful comments, is the one who "messed his whole life up" — losing billions in days — "he did it. Nobody else did it. These narcissistic people, when they mess up it's everybody else's fault."
The hoops legend admitted it takes one to know when when it comes to narcissists. He called himself "a little bit narcissistic," but nowhere near West. "On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 2; [West] is an 8 or 9," O'Neal said. "A lot of people just can't take accountability. He threw it all away being arrogant and cocky, so now he wants to throw everybody else's business dealings under the bus?"
On last Thursday's The Big Podcast With Shaq, O'Neal said he knows what West, who also goes by Ye, is going through.
"You know why I know what he’s going through? Because I used to be a narcissist," O’Neal said. “First example, when you are a narcissist, mama takes the kids away from you. Second example, when you are a narcissist, things start to just go away."
O'Neal recently called himself a "d***head" in his divorce from wife Shaunie. As for West's divorce from Kim Kardashian, he reportedly did not appear for his Nov. 16 deposition in the ongoing divorce case. West will be given another opportunity on Nov. 29.
West's latest spiral saw him threatening to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE," resulting in him being dropped by Adidas and his agent, among others. Soon after, Irving faced his own backlash for promoting an antisemitic documentary on social media, which led O'Neal to brand Irving an "idiot." The rapper/clothing designer then started something with O'Neal by criticizing the basketball star's business dealings. West suggested O'Neal was being duped by Canadian billionaire and owner of Authentic Brand Group Jamie Salter, who O'Neal is in business with. (O'Neal is the second-largest individual shareholder of Authentic Brands Group, which owns brands including Reebok, Forever 21 and Barneys New York.)
O'Neal used Twitter to reply to West's claims, writing in part, "Worry about your business, and to quote the once great Kanye west 'I got more money than you, so why would i listen to you' take my advice get your family business in order. Have a great day brother."