Shaquille O'Neal v Damian Lillard: A rap beef breakdown

Damian Lillard and Shaquille O'Neal
Damian Lillard and Shaquille O'Neal's diss tracks have amassed millions of streams

Basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal has been locked in an intense rap battle with one of the new generation - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard.

Shaq dropped his latest track - titled Round Two Knockout - on Monday, meaning both men have released two.

Here's your guide to what's happened, including some of the scorching lines from the tracks.

How did it start?

After releasing his album Big D.O.L.L.A. in September, Lillard appeared on The Joe Budden Podcast as part of his promotional push.

During the interview, Budden and co-hosts Rory and Mal asked Lillard how his rapping compares with Shaq's. He replied:

Dame Lillard quote

It's worth noting that, while 'Dame' might have a full-on album out, Shaq's music career wasn't exactly small. His debut album Shaq Diesel sold more than one million copies, and follow-up Shaq-Fu: The Return passed 500,000.

The stage was set. It was the centre against the guard - Dame 'Dolla' Lillard v Shaq 'Diesel' O'Neal. May the best bars win.

What happened next?

Shaq came straight out the blocks, dropping Freestyle (Damian Lillard Diss) to his 13.2m followers on Instagram, along with a slightly creepy video of a puppet Shaq dancing to the track with a boombox.

Shaquille O'Neal puppet

The song starts with a recording of Dame's words on the podcast, before Shaq describes how he intends to "discipline these children".

He goes on to say Dame won't ever make it into the elite bracket of NBA guards, which includes Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook and Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry:

Shaquille O'Neal quote

Dame's response was like Drake's when he was caught in beef with Meek Mill - reply with two tracks.

In Reign Reign Go Away, Dame lets Shaq know he might have numerous NBA championships to his name but he didn't win them without some serious help from his team-mates.

Shaq joined the Miami Heat in 2004, and Dame says their championship win two years later was down to Dwayne 'Flash' Wade: "Even in Miami, won that off the strength of Flash."

That isn't the only bar that references Shaq benefitting from a team-mate. Dame also brutally claims Kobe Bryant won Shaq his three championships at the Lakers:

Dame Lillard quote

He wasn't done there, though. Three days later he dropped I Rest My Case, in which he talks more directly about Shaq's rapping ability, and says he is stuck in the past.

"Cause we gon' shoot it out 'til you bow and just never speak" is a clear warning he thinks Shaq hasn't got much chance of winning when it comes to a rap battle.

Dame then draws Shaq again:

Dame Lillard quote

With two songs for Shaq to clap back to, the big man had to come with some serious heat for his reply.

And what did he do? He went full-on filthy in 2nd Round Knockout.

Much of this expletive-packed song we can't actually print, but luckily the biggest diss is completely clean.

Shaq goes in on Dame for his ability to make it to play-off games, but not win the big ones:

Shaquille O'Neal quote

Dame is yet to reply, but with the NBA season tipping off on 25 October, maybe he can prove Shaq wrong and bring home the championship.

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