Heading into the eventful free agency for LeBron James, or ‘The Decision 3.0’ as some people have called it — the motivation could be rooted into championships. It could also be to avoid the dysfunction around Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers roster all together.
The NBA culture is now cemented into rings — players now have more freedom than ever, but a lot of people have not warmed up to that quite yet. Shaq believes LeBron should not chase rings, because he is already a legend.
“My problem toward the end of my career was I was trying to shut everybody up and I was greedy [for more championships],” O’Neal said in an interview with ESPN at a pre-draft event on Friday evening for teens from the Y in Brooklyn. “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.”
“Somebody told me a long time ago — they said your book is already set [before the later stages of your career]. You can add index pages toward the end, but your book is already set. So LeBron’s book is already set,” O’Neal said. “He done already passed up legends; he done already made his mark — he has three rings.”
From what Shaq just detailed, the NBA has not changed a lot in the sense that players take constant heat if they do not win a title. LeBron is certainly aware of that, as he took heat the first nine years of his career — and then created the ‘Big 3’ with the Heat.
With LeBron’s son Bronny growing up very fast, and the rest of his kids following suit — he could look out for family first, rings second. But, with Kawhi Leonard now on the move, there is now a lot of indications they could join up in Los Angeles as an attempt to oust the Warriors. It remains to be seen as we are weeks away from free agency, but the stove is not cooling anytime soon.