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Shaquille O’Neal Claims LeBron James Should Accept Backseat Role?

The Los Angeles Lakers made no serious acquisitions this summer, leaving them with a trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Austin Reaves for next season.


This Big Three does not strike fear into many of the Western Conference contenders, leaving the Lakers and first-year coach JJ Redick with many problems to solve. NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal recently proposed an interesting strategy for the Lakers, which involves James taking a backseat role on offense.

“If I was LeBron, being that I already have all the records, I would pass it to A.D.,” O’Neal suggested on his podcast. “Cause listen, LeBron can still do what he do, but, ‘I don’t need to have the ball all the time. I don’t need to score all the points. So, A.D. I need you to score all the points. Austin Reaves, you can be No. 2. I can just be the old Magic Johnson-style point guard and keep everybody involved and just keep this thing going.'”

While there’s no denying Anthony Davis is the Lakers’ long-term cornerstone, placing Reaves above James in terms of scoring role is a reach. His scoring versatility is what allows him to play the ‘Magic Johnson-style’ the Lakers legend suggested. The defense collapses into the paint when James attacks the basket, leading to open looks for Reaves on the outside. Not to mention, James is evolving into a serious threat on the outside, shooting a career-high 41 percent from three-point range last season.