The Los Angeles Lakers are out of the playoff picture — nothing new in that sentence. But LeBron James out of the playoff picture? Now you’re talking rarity. But both statements are true this year, with LeBron having taken his enormous talents to LA over the summer and the mix of James, fresh young talent and one-year contract veterans unable to win enough to move the needle for the Lakers. A big surprise? Not really, says Lakers great Shaquille O’Neal.
“Everyone knew this year was going to be an experimental year. Of course we got some players, we may make it to the playoffs, but listen,” Shaq said on his BIG podcast, explaining how the Lakers missed the postseason even with the NBA’s most successful player on the roster in James. “LeBron missed some games, Ingram missed some games, Ball missed some games, Rondo missed some games. If you got those guys playing a full season I think they probably could have got the 8th spot.”
“But in Lala Land we don’t want to make it to the first round [and lose]… so this year is an experimental year but next year we ain’t puttin’ up with that. We are not puttin’ up with that,” Shaq continued, repeating the word experimental and showing his Lakers loyalty and sense of proprietorship about the purple and gold. Shaq concluded that to change things, among other initiatives, “Magic has work to do and LeBron gotta get on the phone. This year is going to be a trying year.” Shaq’s sentiments basically echo that of most Lakers fans.
Trade LeBron? Nope. According to @SHAQ this was an experimental year for the @Lakers but the folks in LA won’t tolerate it past this season. From this week’s #Shaqcast 👇 and listen to the show for free at @podcastone 👉 https://t.co/sl1IkIGlAN pic.twitter.com/hOsHmi8Wqn
— Shaqcast (@Shaqcast) March 20, 2019