It seems that Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal have been feuding for an eternity within the NBA. Over what, you might ask? For the most part, the 'Superman' moniker.
Both formidable centers, the now retired Shaq has frequently taken shots at Howard's credentials down the years insisting he didn't deserve to go by the nickname he made famous.
However, all that bad blood seems to have been put to bed now as Howard has agreed to sign with O'Neal's agent, Perry Rodgers.
Article continues below
This is just the latest parallel between the centers who have amassed a combined 23 All-Star appearances. Just like O'Neal, Howard started his career at the Orlando Magic before heading to the L.A Lakers in his prime.
Although the same success didn't follow, a similarly acrimonious end certainly did. O'Neal, a four-time NBA Champion, has previously called out Howard for his shortcomings and failing to follow in his illustrious footsteps.
Article continues below
So it's even more surprising that the sure-fire hall of fame candidate apparently orchestrated Howard's agent switch-up.
Howard told Sam Amick of USA Today:
"(O’Neal) reached out to me (weeks ago) and felt like this could be something that could really help me in my future. We talked, more so about basketball. And then we started talking about agents and all that stuff."
Just the fact that the two titans are having a dialogue will blow most fans mind, let alone the idea they are getting into bed with each other, business wise.
Howard continued: "He said, 'Hey, I've got somebody who really helped change my life and really sculptured the Shaq that you see today.' He introduced me to Perry. Perry came down to Houston. We had a really good conversation. It was a decision I made on my own. That’s why I liked it, because I decided to make it. There wasn't anybody who was around, anybody who could say, 'Yo, what do you think?' I went with what I felt was right (for) me."
It appears as though the beef between the two is officially over and Howard has suggested he was never trying to eclipse O'Neal, but instead, he wanted to use his standing as motivation.
"I don’t necessarily have an issue with Shaq," Howard said. "People say, 'Well, he’s the real Superman and all of this stuff. But that man has had a very good career. ... Why wouldn’t anybody want to say, 'I want to be like Shaq,' with all of the stuff that he has accomplished on and off the court, with his personality, all that stuff? (It’s) something for anybody to want to look up to."
During Monday's edition of O’Neal’s 'The Big Podcast with Shaq,' the 2000 MVP explained it's purely a case of tough love when it comes to Howard.
"I'm trying to protect him [Howard], trying to get him to that next level," O’Neal said. "What I'm doing at Dwight, I'm trying to get him mad to get him to that next level. ... I'm giving him the blueprint on what to do. Every time I talk about him on TNT, I say, 'He needs to put up 28 (points) and 15 (rebounds).' I don’t care about your free-throw percentage. If you put up 28 and 15, he would dominate. Yes, I’m trying to get in his head because I want him to get upset. I want him to play like a big man.
"That’s why I mess with him. People think it’s a personal thing, but it’s not a personal thing. I’m just trying to poke and nudge to get it going."
One Superman is great, but how about two of them united?