Everything about Dwight Howard is eerily reminiscent of Shaquille O’Neal. Both on and off the court, the parallels between these two guys are so endless that you could literally make one-to-one comparisons regarding what Howard is doing at this point in his career and what O’Neal did roughly around the same time in his career.

In a lot of ways, O’Neal’s well-known resentment towards Howard stems from the fact that he realizes that Howard is just Shaq V2.0.

So it stands to reason that, on the day of Howard participating in the most awkward interview in basketball history, O’Neal would come out and support him. Not because he actually cares about Howard’s standing amongst the fans or whether or not he’s happy, but rather because Howard wanting his current head coach Stan Van Gundy gone reminds him of the time he wanted Van Gundy off his team when he was a member of the 2005 Miami Heat.

The only notable difference between Howard and O’Neal thus far is that O’Neal actually succeeded in getting rid of Van Gundy – something that Howard has yet to put his résumé. (For what it’s worth, the Heat then went on to win the championship in 2006 sans Van Gundy, so maybe that was the right play.)

Here is O’Neal on TNT, addressing the Van Gundy-Howard-Magic mess, and projecting all his lingering insecurities about having Van Gundy axed seven years ago (via Larry Brown Sports):

While O’Neal will never actually pass the “dominant big man" torch to Howard because of his own pettiness, at least he was kind enough to pass him the same knife he once buried in Van Gundy’s back.

(Kudos to Larry Brown Sports for the find)

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