O'Neal on Giannis: The kid is better than me at 24
Shaquille O'Neal believes Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is better than he was at the same age.
O'Neal had already dubbed Antetokounmpo, who is in his sixth NBA season, "Superman".
Now, the four-time NBA champion says Antetokounmpo is better than he was at 24.
"He's better and that's why I gave up my Superman title to him," O'Neal said on The Big Podcast with Shaq. "But you know what? He works hard, he's a humble kid and works hard.
"He doesn't just come and show up and expect people to say: 'Oh, he's the next one'. This kid actually works and he's earned it. He's deserved it and he's earned my respect so I'm giving it to him. To answer all the questions: 'You're right, the kid is better than me at 24.'"
O'Neal has never before given up his own nickname, but he was more than happy to pass it along to the Bucks star in November.
At that time, Antetokounmpo was already making his case for MVP and O'Neal agreed.
"The Greek Freak is the MVP right now," O'Neal said then. "How about that?"
Antetokounmpo is still among the favourites to win the coveted award. However, Houston Rockets star James Harden is also in the running to get his second consecutive MVP nod.
Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.4 points and 12.5 rebounds for the Eastern-Conference leading Bucks.
He is shooting 57.7 per cent from the field.