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Shaq-A-Claus To Howard: You Have To Step It Up! Needs To Bring Up Average To 30 PPG

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) Shaquille O’Neal was back in Los Angeles to host another holiday party for kids in need at the Challenge Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles Friday.

Shaq-a-Claus, who is a Boys and Girls Club alumnus, will be passing out hundreds of toys to an estimated 400 kids from the BGC.

“Shaq is such a well-rounded individual for our Club kids to look up to,” said Corey Dantzler, President/CEO of Challengers Boys & Girls Club. “The kids see in Shaq a lot of what they themselves would like to become – a basketball player, a police officer, a doctoral graduate – he truly inspires kids to be Great!”

Shaq, whose No. 34 Lakers’ jersey will be retired on April 2nd, could not help but speak about his former team that is struggling despite winning their last three games.

Many people and reports say Kobe Bryant is the problem by shooting too much, but Shaq doesn’t think he’s the problem – it’s Dwight Howard.

“When you have a dominant guard and a so-called dominant big man, both guys need to be dominant,” Shaq told CBS2/KCAL9’s Jim Hill. “I’ve said 18 points is not enough for Dwight Howard. I’m showing him the formula that is guaranteed to work.”

Shaquille O'Neal #34 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates in the locker room after winning the 2001 NBA Championship against the Philadelphia 76'ers circa June 2001 at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (credit: Robert Mora/NBAE via Getty Images)

Shaq’s Top Moments with Lakers (credit: Robert Mora/NBAE via Getty Images)

Howard has been averaging just 18 points per game with 12 rebounds — not enough for Jack Nicholson.

Shaq mentioned that a big man like Howard, with his athletic ability, needs to play bigger and score over 30 points or more for the Lakers to be successful.

In the three years he won the NBA titles with the Lakers, Shaq averaged 26.3(2000), 29.7(2001), and 28.7(2002) during the regular season. In the Finals those three years, he averaged 35 points.

“He needs to demand the ball. With his athletic ability and his youth and the way he runs the floor, he should be getting more than 18. Andre Bynum averaged 18! You can’t come to LA and have down numbers,” added O’Neal.

“Jack Nicholson doesn’t play that. The fans don’t play that, so the other guy [Howard] needs to step up. I know at times you think I’m criticizing, but I’m doing to him what Kareem did to me. You remember? I used to average 28, and Kareem said one day, ‘That’s not enough.’ And he was correct, I had to step it up. I had to bring up to 30 and 35. You remember what I had to average in the Finals for us to win? You have to step it up! All the smiling and giggling is cool, but not here in LA. Jack Nicholson doesn’t play that!”

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