NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most outspoken people from the basketball community and a guy who isn’t afraid to share his opinion about various topics. In an interview on the All Things Covered podcast, Shaq talked about multiple things related to his NBA career and touched upon the subject of the GOAT status that in his mind shifted after LeBron James won his fourth championship with the Lakers.
Shaq knows LeBron really well and believes he cares what other people think of him, which also serves as a motivation for him to surpass other all-time greats in every way he can. According to Shaq, LeBron will solidify himself as the potential GOAT if he wins his fifth championship and ends up with more points than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. If, in any case, he ends up with six NBA titles, it will be hard to argue he isn’t the GOAT in comparison to Jordan himself.
I love LeBron, and I know he thinks what people think. Now he has four, but once he gets five. He already passed up Kobe and Jordan in points. When he gets the fifth championship, he will get closer to the GOAT, but he will also be creeping on Kareem too. So I think he is looking to pass Kareem to get to 39k, and that will automatically put him as the best player. And if he ties Mike, people will probably lean more towards LeBron being the best player in the world.Shaquille O’Neal, via All Things Covered
Shaq also touched upon the topic of who is the most dominant big men in NBA history in which his name is on the top of the list alongside the late great Wilt Chamberlain. In that type of discussion, Shaq acknowledges the fact it can be either way around. He has more rings than Wilt, but Wilt scored more points. He had a personal goal of catching up to Wilt in scoring because that would mean he is the most dominant center in NBA history, but unfortunately, he was almost 3k points away.
We look at the stats right now, I’m not comfortable when people say Wilt or Shaq was the most dominant. I have more championships than Wilt, so the reason, why I was playing all those games, is that I was trying to pass him in points, and now that I passed him in points, I would arrogantly say I’m the best, most dominant big men ever. I don’t care what you are talking about, I got four rings, and I passed Wilt in points, I don’t want to hear his name anymore. But he still has more points than me, so I don’t mind when people say the most dominant big men to play the game were Wilt and Shaq.Shaquille O’Neal, via All Things Covered
According to Shaq, LeBron’s expectations as he entered his 18th NBA season are to tie Kobe and Jordan in championships, and if he can do that, he can cement his legacy as the GOAT.
So I think LeBron is looking to tie Kobe and tie Jordan with championships, and he is looking to pass Kareem, and then the conversation will probably change.Shaquille O’Neal, via All Things Covered