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Shaquille O'Neal skewers LeBron James over schedule complaints: 4 hours a week, $200 million a year while 40 million Americans have lost their jobs

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal blasted fellow NBA star LeBron James after James complained about the league's grueling new schedule, which he said is not giving NBA players enough rest.

In fiery remarks, the former Lakers star argued that superstar athletes — such as James — continue to make massive amounts of money during a global pandemic while countless everyday people have lost their jobs due to thecoronavirus.

What's a brief history here?

James in June blamed a rash of basketball player injuries on what he said was the league's rushed restart following the conclusion of the 2019-2020 season.

In a pointed rant, James tweeted, "They all didn't wanna listen to me about the start of the season. I knew exactly what would happen. I only wanted to protect the well being of the players which ultimately is the PRODUCT & BENEFIT of OUR GAME! These injuries isn't just 'PART OF THE GAME.' It's the lack of PURE RIM REST rest before starting back up. 8, possibly 9 ALL-STARS has missed Playoff games (most in league history). This is the best time of the year for our league and fans but missing a ton of our fav players. It's insane. If there's one person that know about the body and how it works all year round it's ME! I speak for the health of all our players and I hate to see this many injuries this time of the year. Sorry fans wish you guys were seeing all your fav guys right now."

In a statement on James' remarks, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said, "Injury rates were virtually the same this season as they were during 2019-20 while starter-level and All-Star players missed games due to injury at similar rates as the last three seasons. While injuries are an unfortunate reality of our game, we recognize the enormous sacrifices NBA players and teams have made to play through this pandemic."

What did Shaq say in response?

In an interview with CNBC, O'Neal said, "When you're living in a world where 40 million people have been laid off and I'm making $200 million, you won't get no complaining from me. If I gotta play back to back to back to back to back ... and I'm making all that money, I just gotta deal ..."

He continued, "I'm not knocking what anybody said, but me personally, I don't complain and make excuses because real people like you who are really working their tail off, you don't make as much money as we do, and all we gotta do is train two hours a day, and then play a game two hours at night; we make a lot of money. So my thought process is a little different."

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