Shaq: Lakers Are LeBron's "Ideal Choice"

Shaq doesn't know where James will play, but (real estate) signs point to Los Angeles

Tiki and Tierney
June 15, 2018 - 5:25 pm

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Shaquille O’Neal dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Friday to discuss numerous topics, including LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and the back-and-forth roasting between Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma.

We’ll start with James, who is once again this summer’s top free agent. Where will the 33-year-old play next season?

“I think if you follow his pattern, before he got to Miami, he had a house in Miami, and everyone knows he bought a big house in L.A.,” Shaq said on Tiki and Tierney. “So if you follow patterns, I would say that would be his ideal choice.”

O’Neal, though, has no inside information.

“I don’t want to speak for LeBron,” he said. “I’m good friends with him, Maverick (Carter) and Rich (Paul). The real answer is I don’t know. But if I’m a fan and I’m following patterns, that’s where I would think he would be going.”

O’Neal also responded to a report that Leonard is unhappy with the Spurs and wants out of San Antonio.

“The Spurs organization has always been a very smart organization, so they’re not going to let a guy like that get away without getting some valuable pieces,” O’Neal said. “So whoever brings the best pieces to the table, that’s probably what Gregg Popovich does. He’s not just going to let Kawhi go away for not anything. Popovich and that organization, they don't always go for superstars. They always try to get key players. But Kawhi is a superstar. So if you can’t get a superstar for a little superstar, I wouldn't do that deal.”

Leonard is reportedly interested in joining the Lakers, but Tiki and Tierney wonder if he has the personality for a big market, especially one as flashy as L.A.

“Right now, everything is speculation,” O’Neal said. “I didn’t hear him say, ‘I want to be traded.’ I didn’t hear him say, ‘I was unhappy.’ I didn’t hear him say, ‘I was mad at Pop for not giving me my extension and wanting me to play and improve myself another year while I was hurt.’ I haven’t heard him say anything. So right now, everything is just speculation.”

As for Ball and Kuzma, O’Neal isn’t quite sure what to make of that.

“I know people think they’re playing, but this sounds like a real diss record,” O’Neal said. “Talking about his father and you’ll be nothing without me and this and that – I don’t know what’s going on, but it didn’t sound like he was playing to me. Once it gets out, it stays out. Everybody’s always going to talk about it.”