Shaq to LeBron: No need to chase titles anymore
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 18, 2018 12:28 PM
INDEPENDENCE, OH - OCTOBER 3: Shaquille O'Neal #33 and LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers pose for a portrait during 2009 NBA Media Day on October 3, 2009 at the Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence, Ohio. (Photo by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images)
Shaquille O'Neal has some advice for LeBron James: There's no need to chase championships anymore.
Take it from someone who's been there.
That's the advice the Hall of Fame center has for his one-time teammate, as shared by ESPN's Ian Begley.
"My problem toward the end of my career was I was trying to shut everybody up and I was greedy [for more championships]," O'Neal said in an interview with ESPN at a pre-draft event on Friday evening for teens from the Y in Brooklyn. "After I got to three [titles], everybody was saying I couldn't get another. So I got four. After I got the fourth, they were saying I couldn't get another one. So I was trying to make quick stops to get it. Phoenix, Cleveland, Boston."
O'Neal won three championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat, but he didn't win any in the final three seasons of his 19-year career.
He doesn't think James should try to chase championships at this point in his 15-year career. James can test free agency this summer if he declines the player option on his contract.
"Somebody told me a long time ago -- they said your book is already set [before the later stages of your career]. You can add index pages toward the end, but your book is already set. So LeBron's book is already set," O'Neal said. "He done already passed up legends; he done already made his mark -- he has three rings. His mentality now is probably: I want to get four before [Golden State Warriors guard] Steph [Curry] does. That's probably his mentality now. But if I was him, I wouldn't be trying to get four, five and six because it ain't going to matter. It's just something else to talk about, something else to add to the pages. He's a legend, talked about as who is the best between he and Michael Jordan, so he's set."
After getting traded to the Miami Heat in February 2008, O'Neal was subsequently dealt again in June of 2009 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then in the offseason of 2010, he signed with the Boston Celtics, which turned out to be his final season in the NBA.
James has two championships with the Heat, and one with the Cavaliers, the franchise's sole title. He's also a three-time Finals MVP, a four-time regular season MVP, a 12-time All-NBA First Team member, a five-time All-Defensive Team member, and a former Rookie of the Year.
As of the 2017-18 season, James is #7 on the NBA career scoring leaders list (31,038 points), #11 on the career assists leaders list (8,208), and #16 on the career steals leaders list (1,865).
James has until 11:59pm on June 29 (11:59 am, June 30, PHL time), to decide whether or not he opts out of his current Cavaliers contract.