The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the best franchises in NBA history. They are known for building relationships with their former players, even after retirement. A prime example of that is four-time NBA champion, Shaquille O’Neal.
Shaq was part of the 3-peat squad under head coach Phil Jackson back in the early 2000s. However, due to repetitive clashes with Kobe Bryant, the Lakers had to part ways with ‘The Diesel’.
Lakers president Jeanie Buss talked about Shaq’s relationship with the organization after his departure on “The Inside the Green Room with Danny Green” show.
“When Shaq was traded from the Lakers to the Miami Heat, it was tough. It’s something that you have to allow the players to process and we knew he’d be disappointed and we know that he might make some comments in the moment, that you know are understandable.
“But for me it was about, I’ll always build that bridge and I’ll never shut the door. And we kinda go by the motto ‘Once a Laker, always a Laker’. Shaq went to Miami and won a championship and did great, I was happy for him.
“When he retired and my father, Dr. Jerry Buss, was not doing well, Shaq called and said, he wanted to come see my dad and make sure that they were in a good place. At that point he asked and he wanted to make sure that his jersey was retired and that he was remembered as a Laker.”
Trading players is never an easy task for an organization. But what matters is the relationship between the player and the franchise after the transaction. In case of the Lakers, they always keep the door open for their former player all the time.
Will the Los Angeles Lakers win championship #17 this year?
There is no better feeling than winning an NBA Championship after months of hard work. The Lakers have tasted the sweet fruit of being the champions for 16 times. Second to just the Celtics. However, the Lakers are just two more wins away from bringing the banner #17 into the rafters.
The two superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis have put the team on their backs in the Playoffs. Moreover, they have taken a 2-0 lead in the NBA finals, bringing them even closer to their ultimate goal – The Glorious NBA Trophy.
What do you think? Will the Lakers become the champions of the NBA after a 10-year drought or not?