The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New York Knicks 101-99 on Tuesday night.
With the victory LA moved to 39-30 on the year – good for 7th in the Western Conference.
This past week, Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal spoke openly and honestly about why the defending champs are a little embarrassing right now.
His rationale, although controversial, certainly makes sense.
“If I was LeBron [James], I would come in and said we are in the 7th spot, that is the play-in, and that is embarrassing. I’m going to be back in one or two games, and I need one or two guys to step up. Kyle, what are you going to do? KCP, what are you going to do?” he said.
“The thing I don’t like about Kuzma is that he has games like this every now or then, and we need this from him every night. We all know the Lakers one-two punch is AD and LeBron but guess what? They get so much attention you will be able to shine.”
O’Neal didn’t stop there, though.
“Right now, the Lakers are the champs, they are in the play-in position, and everybody is talking about them, and that is embarrassing. They need to focus on getting to that sixth spot,” he continued.
“Real champions, we don’t want to hear about no excuses. I know they had injuries, but for them to be in the play-in is embarrassing, and If I was LeBron, I would come to everybody and be like, what are you going to do?”
That’s one way to do it. https://t.co/FPdnapbQPX
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 10, 2021
It goes without saying that injuries have been rough on the Lakers this year. James’ decision to change his return date and all the bizarre drama surrounding his health speak for itself.
But O’Neal is still somewhat right. Champions find a way to persevere.
Will the Lakers be able to do that in the playoffs? Time will tell.
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