“If the LA Lakers trade LeBron James, they’ll never win again”: Shaquille O’Neal sends out a stern warning amid rumors of trading the four-time Finals MVP

Arjun Julka
|Published March 01, 2022

Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal believes the LA Lakers stand no chance of winning without LeBron James.

The Lakers have been in the headlines off-late for all the wrong reasons. The 2021-22 season has been a poor outing for the team so far, currently six games below +500. Their recent embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Pelicans made things even worse.

The Lakers suffered a beating at the hands of the Pelicans on Sunday night at the Crypto.com arena. LeBron James and co visibly looked dejected and disinterested during the game. According to various analysts and pundits in the media, the Lakers should look for trading James.

Surprisingly, the 37-year old James has been playing on an MVP caliber this season and has been the sole engine of his team, boasting multiple-time All-Stars in Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis. The decision to incorporate a group of accomplished veterans hasn’t worked so far.

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During a recent interview with CNBC, Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal addressed the disappointing season of the Bubble champions so far, adding the idea trading James was a mistake.

Shaquille O’Neal warns the Lakers from trading LeBron James.

When we speak of the Lakers Mt. Rushmore, Shaq is right there. The seven-foot center had a 3-peat with the iconic franchise and was the Finals MVP in each case. Big Diesel and the late Kobe Bryant formed one of the most dynamic duos in NBA history.

O’Neal has always held the franchise in high regard. Thus it was a matter of time before the TNT analyst spoke about the Lakers’ struggles this season. While addressing the team’s poor performance, Shaq sent out a stern warning regarding the rumors of trading James.

“If you trade LeBron, you’ll never win again,” said O’Neal.

“If you put LeBron around the right guys, they are definitely going to win. “I think whoever put the team together needs to step up and try and fix it.”

Shaq does make a point, considering the stats LBJ has been putting up so far. In his year 19th, James is averaging 29.0 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 6.3 APG, and 1.6 SPG. The four-time Finals MVP is shooting an impressive 51.9% from the field. James continues to lead his team in scoring and steals.

The Jeanie Buss organization has parted with a lot of their draft picks and young core to build around James, including acquiring Davis. Thus the front office and James would have to devise a strategy to put better pieces around the latter.

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Shaq does make some valid points on James’ trade rumors as the latter’s performance on the hardwood can never be questioned.

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About the author

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

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