*He may be retired from the NBA, but Shaquille O’Neal is still needling the crap out of Dwight Howard, who’s now an LA Lakers center like Shaq himself once was.

Well. on Thursday, Howard was asked about quote from O’Neal, who – in a recent interview – ranked Brooks Lopez and Andrew Bynum over the new Lakers big man, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year at the center position.

“I don’t really care what Shaq says. Shaq played the game, he’s done. He’s gone. It’s time to move on,” Howard said. “He hated the fact that when he played, the older guys were talking about him and how he played, and now he’s doing the exact same thing. Just let it go. There’s no sense for him to be talking trash. He did his thing in the league, (he’s one) of the greatest to ever play the game. Just sit back and relax. Your time is up. I don’t really care. He can say whatever he wants.”

In Shaq’s interview, which will air on NBA TV’s “Open Court” on Tuesday at 11 p.m., the future Hall of Famer praised Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon for being “true centers” and scoffed at Howard for playing a European style. (You can see that clip here.)

An irritated D12 responded:

“I have respect for him and what he did for basketball,” Howard said. “That’s it. Like I said, he already did his thing. He played. When my time is up there’s going to be someone else who can do everything I can do and probably do it better.”

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