Shaquille O’Neal has apologized for saying he’d never heard of Rui Hachimura, and naturally, he got Hachimura’s name wrong (twice) during the apology.
“Let me apologize to Rudy Hachimura,” he said on his podcast. “I didn’t know who he was because I never watch the Bullets play, but he’s a fine role-player. He’s giving me Rick Fox vibes… So Rudy Hachimura, I apologize I didn’t know who you were, I know you are now and I wish you well…”
Shaq's "apology" to Rui Hachimura:
"Let me apologize to Rudy Hachimura. I didn't know who he was because I never watch the Bullets play, but he's a fine role player… I now know who you are."
(via The Big Podcast with Shaq) pic.twitter.com/75TsxMvyEf
— Basketball Forever (@bballforever_) February 18, 2023
Shaq’s apology came after he had this to say when the Lakers first traded for Hachimura in late January.
“I ain’t never heard of him,” he said. “I mean, you know we gave up Kendrick Nunn – he wasn’t really doing nothing, but listen – I’m going to get on my Spice [Adams] thing right now. My Lakers, we all about winning them championships. If it ain’t no piece that gon’ win a championship, I don’t want to see it. I don’t even know who that is.”
At this point it’s hard to be absolutely certain whether Shaq is messing up Rui’s name on purpose or not.
On one hand, the man is petty as hell and getting someone’s name wrong on purpose is something he would absolutely do. On the other hand, Shaq clearly doesn’t watch much basketball these days, and for some strange reason, he would be the first one to boast about that.