Shaquille O'Neal had a big response to Jeanie Buss leaving him off her top 5 most important Lakers list. This wasn't an easy job to carry out but the Los Angeles Lakers chairwoman tried her best and came up with a very good list of names.
During a recent interview on Showtime's "All the Smoke," Jeanie discussed the most important Lakers of all time, picking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Phil Jackson. Now, you could say that picking LeBron is a little premature but she didn't pay much attention to that.
Shaq reacted to this list recently on "The Big Podcast with Shaq," making it clear that he would never say anything bad about Buss and her family and that he knows that these lists are subjective so other people can have a different opinion.
"I love Jeanie Buss. I have never, would never say anything negative about Jeanie Buss," O'Neal said around the 39-minute mark. "She gave me $120 million, $100 million, another $80 million. I would never, ever in my life say anything negative about Jeanie Buss and the Buss family. That is her opinion. I respect her opinion ... Look, I'm not mad about that. Listen, she's Jeanie Buss, that's her opinion. You ask other people, the names will vary.
"At 49, I'm a lot more peaceful than I was. If I was 29, I would say, 'Hold on, LeBron's only been there 720 days. How you gonna put him before me?' But look, I'm 49, I respect people's opinions."
As we all know, Shaq is always trying to put himself as one of the best in NBA history and he is one of the most dominant players of all time but sometimes that's not enough to make the cut on these lists. O'Neal stayed for 8 years in Los Angeles, winning three straight championships between 2000-02.
It's still odd to see LeBron on that list since, as Shaq said, he's been around for almost three years now. Well, the King lifted the Lakers last season, taking them to the 2020 NBA Finals and winning their first championship in 10 years.
Perhaps LeBron's impact on the team is actually bigger than that and Buss is well aware of that; he made the Lakers a relevant franchise again and even if he decides to leave the game tomorrow, he's leaving the team in very good hands with Anthony Davis. That's the LeBron effect, something that a lot of people overlook nowadays.