LeBron James has only been a Laker for 2 seasons. It is, therefore, disrespectful to place him alongside Shaquille O’Neal as a tier 2 legend.
The arrival of LeBron James in LA has caused a sea change in the Lakers’ fortunes. They went from 6 straight years out of the playoffs and into the Finals and became champions in 2020.
James’s presence allowed them to trade for Anthony Davis and push for a win-now situation. They’ve already got significant rewards with their Disneyworld run. James looks set to retire in Los Angeles and play his final NBA game in the Lakers’ purple-and-gold.
However, James is hardly the only GOAT candidate to have turned out in purple and gold. He’s got at least 6 all-time greats with impeccable resumes as members of the Lakers.
A Finals MVP award would be enough for players to be ranked as GOATs on most franchises. But you probably know the Lakers are hardly like other franchises.
This warped perception of LeBron’s achievements in the modern day seems to be peeving old heads to no end. Shaquille O’Neal ranks in the same faction of people who believe James’s Lakers achievements are being blown out of proportion.
Shaquille O’Neal critiques a list ranking LeBron James alongside him
Shaq criticized an Instagram graphic that ranks Lakers legends on a tier list. This particular tier list ranked James alongside his own self, prompting O’Neal to post “I do not agree, hell no”
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Shaquille O’Neal is the only Lakers center to win a scoring title, MVP and Finals MVP the same year. He dominated the league like no other Lakers legend in their time with the franchise.
The Big Aristotle was a force of nature by himself. The man was an entire herd, and it seemed like you needed an entire herd to keep his offense in check. Teams across the NBA would stack up on unathletic big men just so they could employ Hack-a-Shaq tactics.
And it still wouldn’t work. One particular series that comes to mind is the Lakers’ Conference Finals matchup with the Spurs in 2001. San Antonio had 2 all-time great defensive big men on their roster at the time.
It’s about time young basketball fans learned to put some respect on the name of the Most Dominant Ever. Just because he emasculates your favorite players on TV doesn’t mean you get to besmirch his legacy on the Lakers.