One of the most dominant players the NBA has ever seen is without a doubt, Shaquille O’Neal. The 7-inch center, who played for several teams during his 19-season career, was an unstoppable force. Shaq, a former player for the Lakers, Heat, Suns, Cavs, and Celtics, was selected by the Orlando Magic.
On every single one of those teams, The Big Aristotle gave every game his all. His best run, however, was with the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaq played in LA from 1996 to 2004, averaging an incredible 27 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks a game while doing so. He also won three NBA Titles during that time.
There is no questioning his legendary status with those numbers and achievements. O Neal thought about two choices as he prepared to begin his final season in the NFL. Return to LA or relocate to Boston. Jeanie Buss and the Lakers faithful both wanted to see him return, but Dr. Jerry Buss vetoed the plan.
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Shaquille O Neal Claims He Was Close to Returning to The Lakers for His Final Season, but Dr. Buss Said No
Shaquille O Neal played in sunny California for eight lengthy seasons. a location where he established himself as one of the best players of all time. It’s also not surprising that the Buss family paid him a hefty $166 million for his services given how effectively he performed there.
Shaq had to pick the final team he wanted to play for in 2011, though, as his tenure in the NBA was coming to an end. Although many people opposed the Laker legend’s decision, Diesel was leaning toward the Celtics. This includes Jeanie Buss, the team’s current president.
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Ms. Buss was very eager to have O Neal return to LA. After all, Phil Jackson supported the notion as well. Sadly, things didn’t turn out the way we had hoped. Why? Because of this, the late Dr. Jerry Buss, owner of the franchise, opted not to approve the move, as Shaq detailed in his book Shaq Uncut.
There was some talk about me going back to the Lakers. Jeanie Buss was pushing her dad to consider it, and Phil Jackson would have signed off on it, but Dr. Buss wasn t gonna go for that.
Miwako kubo (@OkuboMiwako) July 19, 2022
The big man eventually made it to Boston in the end. But, one cannot help but imagine just what a final season in LA could have been like for the Hall of Famer.
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Despite Not Returning to La as A Player, Shaq Was Immortalized by The Lakers with A Statue
In his final season, Shaq was not given the opportunity to play for the Lakers. So it’s not as if the franchise ignored him. Particularly in light of the fact that a statue in his honor was built in 2017.
Shaq s statue has been unveiled. pic.twitter.com/MEJ1wkzetq
Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) March 25, 2017
I think it’s safe to say that O’Neal and the Lakers organization will always be connected. It was meant to be a match made in heaven, and it always will be.