The Los Angeles Lakers fired their head coach Frank Vogel moments after the team played their last game of the 2021-2022 season. LA had one of the most horrific seasons this year. They were eliminated at the end of the regular season and failed to secure a playoff seed. The Lakers front office now has the perilous task of finding a coach who could bring the team back to winning ways and win their 18th NBA championship next season. And recently, former Lakers legend Shaquille O-Neal revealed that he is interested in taking up the critical role in LA. O’Neal has won three NBA championships as a player for the Lakers.
The 15-time NBA All-Star said he would be glad to join the purple and gold if they offer him a four-year, $100 million deal. O’Neal admitted that he would leave his job at TNT to coach the Lakers led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. While talking to The Big Podcast with Shaq, O’Neal said he would immediately take the job if LA offered him $25 million a year for four years.
Earlier in April, rapper Master P expressed his desire to coach the Lakers. He wanted to hire Shaquille as one of his assistants. Master P assured that he could help get some wins and championships if the franchise gave him a shot. The rapper added that he could take over the lakers with O’Neal if the Hall of Famer accepts his offer.
Meanwhile, Shaquille criticized the Lakers’ performance this year after their 33-49 record, despite having star players like LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. Moreover, O’Neal played with LeBron for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2009-10 season. Hence, the duo could prove to be a deadly combination for the rival teams in the upcoming championship.
O’Neal Wants Lakers To Clear Their Roster Except James & Davis
Shaquille O’Neal told CBS sports that the Lakers should retain LeBron James and Anthony Davis from this year’s team. The Big Diesel feels that LA needs to get rid of expiring contracts and the players that did not work out. Moreover, the Hall Of Famer added, ” We gotta try to get younger and more athletic around LeBron.”
Further, O’Neal pointed out that age is a big factor. And hence, LA needs to keep James and Davis and probably move everyone else. Lakers have contracts with LeBron, Davis, Westbrook, Talen-Horton, Kendrick Nunn, Stanley Johnson, Wenyen Gabriel, and Austin Reaves next year. Moreover, Westbrook is likely to take his player option worth around $47 million after struggling during the 2021-22 season.
Russell has proved to be a poor fit around James and Davis, as he is unable to shoot jumpers. The one-time MVP shot only 29.8% from the outside and committed 295 turnovers in 78 games. His limitations create pressure for James and Davis due to the lack of threat from beyond the arc. Thus, it might be wise for the Lakers to get rid of Westbrook and other players who could be a liability for the franchise.