Shaq Says Angel Reese is ‘Probably the Greatest’ Athlete to Come From LSU – Ever
Angel Reese may have been at the center of a firestorm last week, but this week she’s getting praise from
Angel Reese may have been at the center of a firestorm last week, but this week she’s getting praise from one of sports’ biggest figures (literally and figuratively): Shaquille O’Neal.
This week, he had some kind words for the LSU forward – and it could be a huge boost to her career.
Shaq Praises Angel Reese
“She’s probably the greatest athlete to come out of LSU sports. Man and female.”
– Shaq on Angel Reese
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) April 11, 2023
Four-time NBA champion Shaq is considered one of the GOAT in basketball, but he’s expanded his expertise to a variety of sports and business ventures, making him the GOAT of many things.
And it turns out he just might have tapped the next GOAT – Reese.
CNN reports, “On Tuesday, O’Neal called Louisiana State University (LSU) forward Angel Reese the ‘greatest athlete’ to come out of the school.
‘She’s probably the greatest athlete ever to come out of LSU sports. You heard it here first,’ O’Neal said on ‘The Big Pod.’ ‘Male and female. Ever.’
‘Because, guess what? She delivered. She delivered that package. See, a lot of us got the package, and we still got the package in our truck. She delivered that package. So, you know, there’s a lot of names you could throw around – men and women – but she’s probably the greatest athlete.'”
He added, “Some people are going to exclude it to women athletes. I’m not doing that. She’s the greatest athlete to ever come out of LSU.”
When Shaq calls someone great, it’s probably time to listen.
Reese did have an extraordinary season, helping LSU clinch their first NCAA women’s college basketball championship.
She was also named an unanimous first-team All-American for her performances this year, along with being named the women’s March Madness’ Most Outstanding Player.
Reese’s season averaged 23 points, 15.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
Why is Angel Reese so Controversial?
Iowa standout Caitlin Clark says there’s no reason for LSU’s Angel Reese to be criticized on social media for waving her hand while staring down Clark during the women’s NCAA championship game. https://t.co/WsaWakX45L
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 5, 2023
So why is she considered so controversial?
It all started with some on-court trash talking against her rival, University of Iowa forward Caitlin Clark.
Early in April, Iowa and LSU squared off. Near the end of LSU’s victory over Iowa, Reese approached Clark before moving her open hand in front of her face. It’s a well-known gesture popularized by WWE star John Cena to mean “you can’t see me.”
Reese then pointed to her ring finger in a gesture some interpreted as a reference to the place her newly acquired championship ring might sit.
Clark had made a similar gesture to another player earlier in the tournament.
For whatever reason (racism, anyone?) Clark’s gesture was ignored, but Reese was blasted all over the internet for her in-game trash-talk. Which, let’s face it, is mild in comparison to a lot of male athletes.
After Reese was slammed with criticism online, Clark defended her rival, telling ESPN, ” I don’t think Angel should be criticized at all. I’m just one that competes, and she competed. I think everybody knew there was going to be a little trash talk in the entire tournament. It’s not just me and Angel.”
She added, “We’re all competitive. We all show our emotions in a different way. You know, Angel is a tremendous, tremendous player. I have nothing but respect for her. I love her game – the way she rebounds the ball, scores the ball, is absolutely incredible. I’m a big fan of her and even the entire LSU team. They played an amazing game. Men have always had trash talk … You should be able to play with that emotion … That’s how every girl should continue to play.”
Reese was later criticized for seeming to ignite controversy over saying she would rather visit Barack Obama than the current occupant of the White House, Joe Biden.
Reese was responding to a suggestion from First Lady Jill Biden that both teams (LSU and Iowa) should come to the White House to celebrate. Many blasted the invitation as devaluing the win from LSU, and criticized it as racially motivated. That’s when Reese said Iowa could visit the Bidens – she’d rather visit the Obamas.
Since then, the furor has died down, but Reese is still considered somewhat controversial.
It would appear that Shaq, at least, is unimpressed by the hubbub surrounding the young star and believes she’s on a path to superstardom soon.