The Los Angeles Lakers are probably going to miss the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, and if that happens, it will be the first time the NBA’s postseason hasn’t featured LeBron James since 2005. The Lakers star has been catching a good amount of heat for the team’s collapse, whether it’s his interest in outside media projects, the perception of his involvement in the botched Anthony Davis trade demand or the calling out of his teammates in the media.
For Shaquille O’Neal, the latter is exactly why LeBron is in Los Angeles in the first place.
“That’s what the hell you’re supposed to do,” Shaq said on a recent episode of The Big Podcast. “I did that sh*t all the time. Why do you think me and Kobe had beef? If you ain’t stepping up, I’m calling you out.”
LeBron’s recent comments, directed at the Lakers young core, about playing for the wrong franchise if you’re bothered by distractions, caught the most flack, especially while LeBron recently appeared in a new episode of HBO’s “The Shop” and A&R’ed 2 Chainz’s new album that dropped last week. But Shaq says LeBron knows exactly what he’s doing.
“LeBron is not a malicious guy. He’s very smart,” Shaq said. “He’s right in this. If you don’t want to be traded, then step your damn game up.”
Unfortunately, outside of Brandom Ingram, LeBron’s words haven’t done enough to inspire the rest of the team.