“Everybody knows you’re a nice guy,” Shaquille O’Neal said to Marc Gasol after Gasol’s livelier contribution in Game 3 of the Raptors-Bucks series. “I think the reason you’re not being aggressive is because you want to fit in. We know you’re a great passer as a big man, you don’t want to do too much, ” O’Neal continued. “But we saw tonight that when you’re aggressive and you just let it go you’re Marc Gasol, and you will score at least 60 or 70 percent of the time.”
“I was happy to be able to help tonight.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 20, 2019
Charles Barkley had just finished asking Gasol if he was most upset because he “played bad” or because he “wasn’t aggressive.” Gasol answered truthfully: “Both.”
Hearing O’Neal’s assessment of his game, Gasol agreed, saying: “Yeah you’re right, trying to find my place on the floor… but first I have to look at the basket and be aggressive. That’s what my team needs.” Gasol thought O’Neal nailed it, admitting (paradoxically) that he was “being selfish by being too unselfish.” Expect a much more selfish Gasol going forward, thanks to his success being aggressive in Game 3 and insight from Shaq.
That’s the kind of statement that Shaq, especially in his Big Aristotle mode, really likes. Game 4 between the Bucks and Raptors is Tuesday in Toronto.