Thursday, December 2, 2021

Shaq on LeBron James: he’ll be the greatest if he walks past Karim

Shaquille O’Neal walked down the steps from the TNT site outside of LA Live and headed to the green room for dinner after the NBA Bucks and Lakers and Warriors pre-game show at the Staples Center, gathering his thoughts about LeBron James’s home. in NBA history.

On Tuesday, as O’Neill walked out and signed autographs, he began his conversation by saying that if James walked past Lakers Hall of Famer Karim Abdul-Jabbar and became the all-time NBA all-time goal scorer, there would be no doubt that “LeBron is the best player ever.”

Yes, O’Neill thinks James will surpass the incomparable Michael Jordan, who is considered by many to be the best player in the NBA and whom James has a lot of respect.

“I know what he’s doing,” O’Neill said as he ate the roast beef. “The championship is great, but he is trying to get around Karim. This is what he does. I know exactly what he does. Because now, if you miss Karim, it’s not about who is the best player in the world. Think about it? I saw that he needed to average [25] glasses or something in the next few years, which he will do. He will be able to do it in another two years. “

James began the season Tuesday night against Golden State, finishing third in league history with 35,367 points, behind Abdul Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).

James averaged 25 points last season and 27 points over 18 years in the NBA.

If James averaged at least 25 points over the next two seasons, he would have overtaken Abdul-Jabbar sometime in the 2022-23 season, which would take about 120 games.

If James maintains the same average this season, he will beat Malone in Game 62.

James, who turns 37 in December, has won four titles, one of which was from the Lakers in 2020.

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“He has four rings and becomes the top scorer in NBA history. He’s the best of them all, ”O’Neill said. “You can’t say anything.

“Because if I walked past Wilt [Chamberlain] you know me by performance. I would say, “I am the most dominant in the world.” I don’t want to hear [Chamberlain’s] do not name it anymore. “

O’Neill, who is eighth in scoring (28,596) after seventh Chamberlain (31,419), laughed.

James signed with the Lakers for two more seasons, earning $ 41.1 million this season and $ 44.4 million next season.

“I mean, he’s really trying to do it,” O’Neill said. “Ring 5 would be cool, but if he gets this top scorer, top scorer in the league … I would agree.

“He would be # 1,” O’Neill continued. “He would be the top scorer. I want to be the top scorer in the league because now it’s not about who is the best in the league. Who will break it? No one.”

In a way, this Lakers reboot with James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook reminds O’Neill of when he and Kobe Bryant were joined by future Hall of Famers Malone and Gary Payton in the 2003-04 season that ended in NBA. Final defeat to Detroit Pistons.

But O’Neill is not yet ready to crown the 2021-22 Lakers champion.

“I saw when they made the exchange for Russ, but it wasn’t like ‘Oooh! “O’Neill said. “Who are the two main guys? Will anyone else play their roles? “

O’Neill was reminded that the Lakers are now the Big Three with Westbrook added.

“They still need role players, right?” O’Neill said. “I see Russ as a roleplayer, damn good, but he is a roleplayer. First LeBron, then A.D., and then Russ. He can get his things during the break. “

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