In the rich history of the NBA, the LA Lakers are one of the league’s most historic franchises. There have been countless Hall of Fame players who have suited up in the purple and gold. Recently, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss shared her Top 5 most important players in franchise history. Four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal was left on Buss’ list. He took to social media to discuss his displeasure.
O’Neal spent 19 seasons in the NBA and played eight of those seasons with the Lakers. He won three consecutive championships and Finals MVPs with LA. Making Buss’ list of Top 5 Lakers of all-time were Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Phil Jackson.
Those four players and one coach are engrained in Laker’s history forever. However, O’Neal was still shocked to see Bussleave him off that list.
Shaquille O’Neal’s shocked reaction to Jeanie Buss leaving him off her top 5 most important Lakers: https://t.co/wxWbaACWsw
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) July 5, 2023
Shaquille O’Neal is not a Top 5 most important Lakers of all-time according to Jeanie Buss
Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar are surely Top 5 Lakers of all time. The only two you could really argue on Jeanie Buss’s list is LeBron James and Phil Jackson. LeBron did win a title with the Lakers, but he’s played for purple and gold for the least amount of time of anyone on that list.
James has made a powerful impact on the franchise, but possibly not as big as Shaquille O’Neal. Then there’s head coach Phil Jackson, arguably one of the greatest coaches in NBA history. Jackson was the coach for all six of the Bulls’ championships in the 90s.
He then coached another three-peat when the Lakers won in (2000, 2001, and 2002). Jackson left the team after that but returned in 2009 to return the Lakers to championship form. Phil Jackson’s resume speaks for itself and the surely deserves to be on this list.
The debate really comes down to LeBron vs Shaq in this case. Who’s made more of an impact on the Lakers in their career? That’s up to the fans and decide themselves. Jeanie Buss thinks it’s James who is more important to the Lakers.
Source: Basketball Insider