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Shaquille O'Neal Reveals The Truth About Being A Laker: "This Was One Of The Hardest Franchises I Had To Play For..."

Shaquille O'Neal

When considering the totality of his tenure with the Lakers, there is no denying that Shaquille O'Neal is one of the best to ever don the Purple and Gold.

But just because the big guy made it look so easy doesn't mean playing for the NBA's most illustrious franchise is a walk in the park.

As the 4x Champion revealed in a chat with TMZ, the Lakers were actually among O'Neal's hardest assignments, mostly because of the pressure that comes with joining such a successful organization.

"This was one of the hardest franchises I had to play for. I remember when I came here, Jerry West said 'look I know you do movies, I know you do rap albums and all that' and he made me look up and I look up and I seen Wilt and Kareem he said 'at the end of this you can either be a bust or you could be a legend."

O'Neal also offered his take on the current state of the Lakers, who stand at 26-31 on the season so far.

"The Lakers will definitely make the playoffs... those guys just have to decide how they want to be remembered. The problem is, they're older. The young guys are coming at their head. So they got to turn it up from the beginning. You see they always have these miraculous  -- they're down 15 and they cut it short they got to come out with energy. I think if they come out with energy they could put these young guys away."

Even before Shaq's arrival, the Lakers had a rich history full of honor, culture, and success. No doubt, the pressure was on for Shaq from the beginning.

He eventually lived up to the Lakers standard, capturing three straight Championships in one of the most dominant stretches in the franchise's history.

Today, the Lakers are struggling to meet high expectations, and even Shaq can't bring himself to admit they will win the title. But the ridicule and criticism the Lakers have endured all season long are just what comes with representing the franchise.