Shaquille O’Neal bats for LeBron James in his GOAT standings, calls the Lakers star the greatest in an attempt to puff him up.
The GOAT debate in basketball was one that lay dormant for around 20 years. Michael Jordan had established himself as the consensus GOAT after his first retirement itself. But his return and 3 subsequent championships put him over the top as everyone’s choice for GOAT.
Now that doesn’t mean that other players don’t have good arguments. Through the course of basketball history, we’ve anointed different GOATs through different decades.
Mikan was considered the GOAT back in the 50s, while Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain were fiercely debated during the 60s. Kareem stamped his name into that debate with his stupendous Bucks career in the 70s. Magic and Bird came into the picture in the late 80s themselves.
Now LeBron James is being propped up as basketball’s latest GOAT by this generation. Its getting a ton of pushback, primarily because most fans who saw both LeBron and Jordan live will err on the MJ side.
Shaquille O’Neal replies to RJ Hampton’s post on the LeBron James slander
RJ Hampton and Anthony Edwards were two young players who’ve questioned why LeBron is getting so much hate today. The former, who’s a player for the Orlando Magic, made his thoughts known through an Instagram post.
Basketball News reported this on their own Instagram handle today. It seems that Shaq has replied to Hampton through this quote tweet. This is what Shaq’s reply to RJ Hampton’s post about how LeBron James is being slandered looks like:
“Actually they talked down on me. It comes with the territory and just like LeBron our legacy is on the line forever mode. #LeBronisthegreatest”
— BasketballNews.com (@basketbllnews) June 6, 2021
Shaq is correct in that all-time greats face more than their fair share of criticism from everyone. In giving a shoutout to LeBron, he’s using his own example of how he was viewed by league insiders for years. It’s an eminently fair POV to have and its nice to see Shaq bat for today’s players this time.