Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal revolutionized the NBA off the court just as much as he did on it. Especially in an era where shooting guards and point guards were the most marketable stars. For as intimidating and fearsome as he was on the floor, he was as personable and goofy off it. From starring in movies to securing his own signature shoe, Shaq made sure he was more than just a basketball player. 

His most notable non-basketball venture to date has to be his rap career. He’s one of the earliest NBA players to seriously try a career in music, and there have been several players since him who have done the same. With that being said, Shaq is also someone who always ensures that whether it’s his basketball or rap career he’s shown the respect he deserves. So when Damian Lillard said on Joe Budden’s podcast that he was a better rapper than Shaq, of course he had to answer back.

It really is odd that Shaq was so bothered by Lillard’s comments that he had to not only create a whole track, but recorded it on camera with a puppet version of himself lip syncing the lyrics. Then again, it is Shaq and none of that should be surprising at all.

In a four-minute video released to his Instagram page, Shaq went bar-for-bar on why Lillard isn’t a better rapper than him. He opened the rap saying, “daddy has to come out of retirement to spank one of these undisciplined children,” before attacking Lillard directly, even calling him a worse player than Trevor Ariza.

“Talkin’ like you ‘Bron you ain’t even Trevor Ariza…call me when you have a back-to-back-to-back-to-back why would I want to be a rapper, rappers want to be Shaq.”

In another part of the rap, Shaq touted his MVP trophy while saying Lillard isn’t even a candidate. All before finishing it off with a challenge — and another diss — to Lillard.

“MVP candidate you are not one, platinum plaques on my wall go and get you some,” Shaq rapped. “Take ya time to respond, there’s no hurry. You’ll never be Westbrook, never be Steph Curry.”

Of course, Lillard wasn’t going to leave the challenge unanswered. Before heading to the first day of training camp for the Trail Blazers, the four-time All-Star dropped a 3-minute track on Soundcloud titled “Reign Reign Go Away.” Keep in mind, this isn’t the first time Lillard has traded diss tracks with an NBA player. Earlier this year, Lillard and Marvin Bagley III traded barbs on social media too.

Lillard opened his Shaq diss taking aim at new school versus old school, calling Shaq’s signature shoes terrible and declaring that the Michael Jordan film Space Jam is better than Shaq’s basketball movie, Blue Chips. 

“Shoulda just passed me the torch, I got no remorse I beat him like Rocky. You jealous of me and I see you, cause on this day originals just can’t f*** with the sequel. New school got new hits. Space Jam not Blue Chips. Hey man your shoes s*** Dame 6 I’m too lit.”

Several times throughout the track, Lillard mentions how Shaq had help winning his titles. From his Lakers days with Kobe, “We both could be working at Kinko’s, and Kobe won you them rings tho.” To his final championship ring with Dwyane Wade in Miami, “Kinda like the Cavs ain’t really need Diesel’s a**, and even in Miami won that on the strength of Flash.”

On the final bars of his diss track, Lillard signaled the end of Shaq’s reign as the best rapper in the NBA, anointing himself as the “chosen one.”

“Said that max was little, that 250 million crispy. Can’t recall you getting that when I was cruising on a 10-speed,” Lillard rapped. “You had a moment though, you the pioneer, but I done reached the top of the point and the climate’s clear. All of my bars are colder than any climate that’s near, so if you looking for the stop to the reign you can find it here.”

The fact that Lillard was able to put together a 3-minute diss track so quickly is truly impressive, given that he’s got the start of the season to worry about. If this rap beef goes another round maybe the two can do it live on the set of NBA on TNT just to see which one is the better battle rapper after all. 

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