- (Photo: Reuters/Allison Joyce)
Shaquille O'Neal, the former Los Angles Lakers championship-winning center, is speaking out against fellow center Dwight Howard leaving the team to join the Houston Rockets.
Although he has retired from the NBA, O'Neal now serves as an NBA analyst and does not shy away from speaking out against Howard. Howard, the 27-year-old center, recently took to Twitter to announce that he would join the Houston Rockets after becoming a free agent at the close of the 2012-2013 season.
O'Neal claims he has an idea about why Howard would want to leave the high profile Lakers team after one season.
"It was expected. We've all been in L.A., and not a whole lot of people can handle being under the bright lights," O'Neal of Howard's at Daytona International Speedway, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Everybody want to do it, but when you get there, there are certain pressures."
O'Neal went on to comment about Howard's specific choice to play in Houston.
"I think it was a safe move for him to go to a little town like Houston," O'Neal said in the Los Angeles Times report. "That's right, little town. I said it."
While O'Neal won one championship with the Miami Heat, he earned three rings with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000-2002. Howard played his entire career as a center for the Orlando Magic before joining the Los Angeles Lakers this past season.
While he has yet to earn a championship, he has been vocal about his frustrations with his time on the Lakers. After becoming a free agent at the close of the 2012-2013 season, Howard finally tweeted a decision about where he would like to play.
"I've decided to become a member of the Houston Rockets," Howard tweeted Friday. "I feel its the best place for me and I am excited about joining the Rockets and I'm looking forward to a great season. I want to thank the fans in Los Angeles and wish them the best."