Shaquille O'Neal says LA too big for Dwight Howard, calls signing with Rockets 'a safe move'

  • Article by: MARK LONG , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 6, 2013 - 8:40 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Shaquille O'Neal says the Los Angeles spotlight was too bright for Dwight Howard.

Speaking at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Shaq hammered his former colleague as if they were battling in the post.

O'Neal opened his mouth agape when asked about Howard, who chose to leave the Lakers for the Houston Rockets late Friday, and joked about cheering on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick in Saturday's race.

A few seconds later, he threw an elbow Howard's way.

"It was expected," Shaq said. "We've all been in L. A., and not a whole lot of people can handle being under the bright lights. Everybody wants to do it, but when you get there, there are certain pressures. I think it was a safe move for him to go to a little town like Houston. That's right, little town. I said it."

O'Neal didn't want to spend much time talking about Howard, though, and quickly tried to stay focused on favorite driver Patrick.

"Danica Patrick is one of my favorites. I hope she wins. She's very feisty. I love the way she competes," O'Neal said.

Asked later what specifically he liked about Patrick, O'Neal was quite specific.

"Honestly? She's hot. Smokin'," O'Neal said. "Hey, Danica, call me. Danica, call me."

"Don't do it," comedian Adam Sandler responded.

The big man got to briefly meet the diminutive Patrick at the pre-race driver meeting. He removed his hat from the top of his head, placed it over his heart and told Patrick "I'm a huge fan." He then asked her if she'd pose for a photo, which she eagerly did, passing off her own phone to make sure someone got a shot for her to keep.

O'Neal served as one of the grand marshals for the race at Daytona, joining Sandler and fellow comedian Kevin James. The trio was on hand to promote their movie "Grown Ups 2." They sang the command to start engines, a rendition that was widely panned on social media sites.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox 7 Bottom 8th Inning
Detroit 4
Colorado 1 Top 7th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
St. Louis 4 Top 4th Inning
San Diego 2
Philadelphia - C. Lee 6:05 PM
Washington - G. Gonzalez
LA Angels - T. Skaggs 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Seattle - C. Young 6:05 PM
Cleveland - Z. McAllister
Cincinnati - J. Cueto 6:10 PM
Miami - T. Koehler
Minnesota - K. Correia 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Toronto - D. Hutchison 7:10 PM
Houston - J. Buchanan
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Atlanta - J. Teheran 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Calgary
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Phoenix 7:00 PM
Minnesota
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
Indiana 9:00 PM
Seattle
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which uniform will Kevin Love wear next season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close