In the latest NBA Lakers rumors for 2012, former Los Angeles center, Shaquille O'Neal, now an analyst, is analyzing his successor at the center role, Dwight Howard. Shaq recently made comments regarding how D-Howard will ultimately win the respect of the people, by winning multiple championships in LA.
As those Lakers rumors continue to fly, it's no doubt they have become the talk of the league, even eclipsing the current champions, the Miami Heat. That probably is good news for LeBron, D-Wade, Bosh and crew as they are quietly preparing to defend their title. Meanwhile, the D-Howard trade was recently brought up to Shaq, who is no stranger to playing in Los Angeles and winning titles.
The CBS Sports site reports that when he was asked his reaction to the trade, Shaq comments nonchalantly:
"I don't have a reaction. You have to care to have a reaction. I've got businesses to run. I always tell people that in order to step in my shoes you have big shoes to fill. For him, he's going to have to at least win three to get people's respect."
Some analysts believe that these comments from Shaq are quite accurate, as expectations are very high in Los Angeles. With the recent acquisitions of Howard, Nash, Jamison and others, the Lakers have seriously rebuilt themselves into a championship contender. When you've added all of those superstars along with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, then you've got a lot of hype built into these team ahead of their first games on the court. That means fans are pretty much expecting a title, or this season was a major disaster.
However, another bunch of analysts may feel Shaq's comments being lobbed at Howard are more due to jealousy. Let's face it, Shaq spent time going from new team to new team to close out his career, which will land him in the NBA Hall of Fame. There had been some previous beef between him and Howard, apparently over the Superman claims. Now the fact they have pretty much traveled similar paths, starting in Orlando and ending up going to LA in search of a title, seems to bring more comparisons. Shaq may be simply sick of the comparisons, or upset he can no longer accomplish the feats Howard will likely be accomplishing in the coming seasons.
Which do you think it is? Does Howard really need to win 3 NBA championships to earn the respect of the people, or just Shaq's? Is Shaq being a hater?
(Image Source: Wikimedia)