Following the Houston Rockets’ January 14th defeat over the San Antonio Spurs, Rockets star Christian Wood joined TNT’s Inside the NBA crew for a post-game interview. Wood had just finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while shooting 10-of-18 from the floor (55.6 percent).
But although Wood had the performance of the night, it was TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal that stole the show, stating that he was unfamiliar with Wood, who entered the game averaging 22.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks, while shooting 37 percent from three and 52.9 percent from the floor (74-of-140).
Shaq’s comment drew a classic response from Wood, who called O’Neal a casual, although in a polite way.
Shaq: "I owe you an apology. I wasn't really familiar with your game."
Christian Wood: "Oh man, you're a casual."
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 15, 2021
Since that game, Wood put together a string of eight dominant games, averaging 20.7 points and 10.4 rebounds, while shooting 53 percent from long-range.
Shaq, Barkley happy about Houston Rockets’ Christian Wood’s All-Star votes
All in all, Wood is averaging 22 points and 10.2 rebounds, and has received the 8th-most All-Star fan votes among Western Conference front court players, which drew the attention of TNT’s O’Neal and Charles Barkley following Thursday night’s match between the Rockets and the Miami Heat.
O’Neal stated, “Christian Wood’s got some votes. I like that.” Charles Barkley, O’Neal’s counterpart, responded with, “He was balling man. Before he had the injury.”
To the latter point, Wood has missed each of the Rockets’ last four games due to a re-aggravation of a right ankle sprain, and the Rockets have lost each game, which is even more of an argument that Wood deserves to be an All-Star. Wood has been given a week-to-week timetable, which was portrayed as a good thing, as a more severe ankle injury would have him out for an extended amount of time.
Wood made it known that he wanted to be an All-Star and feels as though he deserves to be one, as evident by what he told Space City Scoop writer Zach Allen.
“I do. I believe I’ve been playing at a high level. I believe I’m one of the best bigs in the West. I think I deserve a vote.”
The injury and time away from the court essentially guarantees that Wood will not make the cut, although he is still the only NBA player averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds, while making at least 50 percent of their shots and 40 percent of their threes. The good thing is that an All-Star snub will certainly motivate Wood even more.
It’s also good to see the TNT crew finally have something positive to say about the Houston Rockets, as that’s not something we see too often.