Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss sparked quite the debate around NBA circles just by ranking the top five most important members in team history.
Buss’ top five included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, and Phil Jackson. The notable omission on the list was Shaquille O’Neal, who won three titles alongside Bryant.
O’Neal shared his thoughts on the controversial list from Buss on the latest edition of ‘The Big Podcast with Shaq.‘
“I love Jeanie Buss. I have never, would never say anything negative about Jeanie Buss,” O’Neal said. “She gave me $120 million, $100 million, another $80 million. I would never, ever in my life say anything negative about Jeanie Buss and the Buss family. That is her opinion. I respect her opinion.”
O’Neal admit that he may have taken the bait if he was significantly younger. At this stage in his life though, he doesn’t want to argue with people he greatly respects.
“At 49, I’m a lot more peaceful than I was. If I was 29, I would say, ‘Hold on, LeBron’s only been there 720 days. How you gonna put him before me?’ But look, I’m 49, I respect people’s opinions.”
Jeanie gave #AllTheSmoke her top five most important Lakers:
No hard feelings from @SHAQ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 5, 2021
When you consider all the success that O’Neal had during his run with the Lakers, he probably should be in Buss’ top five.
Nonetheless, Shaq deserves credit for taking the high road in this situation.