Shaquille O’Neal and Lebron James have more than a few connections when it comes to their careers.
Notably, both Shaq and Lebron earned respective championships with the Miami Heat. For Shaq, it would be his last, while LBJ earned his first with both men playing alongside Dwyane Wade. Both wins marked significant times in their respective careers when they decided that making a move from the team in which they built their celebrity would be their next frontier in earning a championship ring. Clearly, Shaq sees the patterns here and in a recent interview on ESPN, the Hall of Famer warned James from making the same mistakes he made toward the end of his career chasing rings.
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“My problem toward the end of my career was I was trying to shut everybody up and I was greedy,” he said Friday night. “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.”
Shaquille O’Neal earned his first three championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. He would move to the Heat in 2004 and win his fourth and final championship in 2006. After that, he spent a year apiece with the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers (alongside Lebron), and the Boston Celtics.
Lebron James’s choice to leave the Cavs in 2010 to pursue a career with the Heat led to his earning two back-to-back championship rings. He returned to his home team in 2014, winning a championship in 2016. Now, following a disappointing defeat against the Golden State Warriors in this year’s NBA Championship series, many are looking towards his next move as he may very well move into free agency again, possibly prompting a third installment of The Decision. But, Shaq warns that if Lebron is thinking of venturing off in search of broadening his legacy, there is no point.
“Somebody told me a long time ago — they said your book is already set. You can add index pages toward the end, but your book is already set,” he began. “So, LeBron’s book is already set. He done already passed up legends, he done already made his mark — he has three rings. His mentality now is probably is: ‘I want to get four before 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 him and Michael Jordan so he’s set.”