NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal recommended, in multiple interviews this week, that the Brooklyn Nets trade Kyrie Irving if he doesn't get vaccinated.
"Whoever owns the Brooklyn Nets, get him up out of here," Shaq said during an appearance on CBS Sports radio's "Tiki and Tierney" show. "I would go upstairs and say, 'Get him up out of here.' We can win with a two-punch and a great shooter and some rebounders like we got. Get his a** up out of here."
Shaq followed up Wednesday's remarks by speaking further on the matter on "The Big Podcast with Shaq." In the above clip, Shaq told Spice Adams and Nischelle Turner that he acknowledged Kyrie's right to have his own opinions but encouraged the NBA superstar to think about the community at large. He also said the Nets' point guard is obligated to do what he has to do to be available for all games if he expects to collect $200 million.
"I try not to belittle another man's opinion," Shaq said. "However, let me tell you what I think. In this game of ours, sometimes you have to think about others instead of yourself. Now, Kyrie has his views, he has his opinions. I'm not going to knock that. But, he does have an obligation because he took that $200 million."
Shaq also criticized Kyrie Irving's refusal to speak about his vaccination status during media day for the Brooklyn Nets. While Kyrie requested that the media respect his privacy, Shaq claimed NBA stars are not required to be given privacy.
"Only thing I don't like is, 'Oh, I like, can you, you know, you know, respect my privacy?' Once you sign up for this life, there is no privacy. And you have to accept it," he continued.
Eventually, the four-time NBA champion echoed the same remarks as he did on "Tiki and Tierney" by saying he would get Kyrie Irving removed from his team if he didn't get vaccinated, causing his availability to be limited.
"If you're on my team and you can't play home games, I don't want you around," Shaq added. "Like, we have a chance to win and if you ain't on the program, go somewhere else, period. Hey, whatever your reasons are, cool, I'm with that but we ain't gonna be going back and forth for 41 games whether you gonna play or not. Get your a** up out of here."