Kevin Durant responds to Shaq's criticism: "There's more to life than championships"

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Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant has hit back at Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal and gave him a clear message: there's more to life than winning an NBA championship. 

Speaking to Sports Illustrated earlier this month, Shaq said that KD shouldn't have intervened in his war of words with Warriors big man JaVale McGee as he is yet to win a ring.

Per SI.com's The Crossover, O'Neal said: “KD doesn’t have G–14 Classification. He can’t talk to me like that. He may think he does, and he’s sticking up for his teammate. He’s a great player, but you ain’t in the club yet. You’re on the outside in line with [Charles] Barkley, [Karl] Malone and [John] Stockton. You’re not in the club with me and those [championship] guys. That’s why I tweeted him, ‘Mind ya business.’” 

The legendary center was referring to Durant's comments when he called the former Lakers star "a “s----y free throw shooter” who “missed dunks… couldn’t shoot outside the paint [and] didn’t have any skills.”

Despite working his way back from a knee injury, Durant found time to respond to O'Neal during an interview on The Bill Simmons Podcast on Friday. 

“He said I can't talk to him because I haven't won a championship,” Durant told Simmons. “I can see right through that. Shaq feels validated in life, not just basketball, because he's won a championship.

"To say I can't say anything to him about my teammate who you tried to bully for no reason? I can't come to his defense because I haven't won championships? [That] shows me your whole life is centered around [the fact that] you feel like you're someone in this world because you won a championship. For me, it ain't even about that.

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“If I have something to say, I'm going to say it. I feel like if you're going to come at my teammate, I'm going to protect him. that's what leaders are supposed to do. … Man, you've got flaws, too, and you're just trying to pick on JaVale. Obviously, JaVale would never be Shaq. He's trying out here like everybody else. I just try to have his back.”

McGee has been a victim of the 'Shaqtin a Fool' segment on TNT for a number of years and it's admirable that KD feels he needs to support his teammate in this regard.

The back and forth between the pair probably won't end here.

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