Lakers News: Shaquille O’Neal Clarifies Comments About Anthony Davis Falling Off
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal is never shy about sharing his thoughts about the purple and gold. The Diesel has always expressed confidence in the Lakers’ chances, even mentioning that they would defeat the Phoenix Suns in the playoffs in 2021.

Just last week, Shaq made a bet with the TNT crew about the Lakers’ playoff hopes. Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks showed up to their game against L.A. in a Stone Cold Steve Austin-Esque outfit and Shaq told the crew if the Lakers didn’t make the playoffs, he’d show up to work in the same outfit.

It’s bold but no different than what O’Neal has done in the past. He even criticized Anthony Davis recently, saying that the big man fell off. Davis has stepped up since, but Shaq still believes any success the Lakers have is up to him, via The Big Podcast With Shaq:

“Then my plan is working. See, he’s still top-10, he’s still a great player. But I’m talking status wise. I remember when we were saying ‘yo he’s the best player in the league.’ No excuses in this league. Don’t matter why you fell off. You still fell off. Everything’s up to AD. Even when LeBron’s back, it’s all up to AD.”

Davis has been dominant since LeBron James got injured on Feb. 26, averaging over 30 points and 13 rebounds per game. Darvin Ham even called him “Wilt” after Davis’ 30-point, 22-rebound outing on Tuesday.

He’s been playing a form of basketball reminiscent of a ridiculous run he had in late November and early December 2022. Davis’ aggressiveness on both sides of the ball has kept the Lakers in the playoff hunt as LeBron and D’Angelo Russell were sidelined.

The key for him, as Shaq mentioned, is keeping that aggressiveness once LeBron returns to the lineup. Davis is averaging 29 points and 15 rebounds in games without the King and 25 points and 11 rebounds with him. Naturally though, when a player with the caliber of James returns, numbers will dip.

Whether or not Davis heard Shaq’s criticism, it’s no secret that his play has elevated.

Anthony Davis told Pau Gasol he wants his jersey retired one day too

It was a special night in Lakers history on Tuesday with Pau Gasol’s jersey retirement. His no. 16 purple and gold jersey will forever live in the rafters of Arena.

A current Laker hopes his jersey will do the same. Davis told Gasol he wants his jersey retired by the Lakers too.

“Obviously, I want to be in that category and in that group, and whenever my body tells me that I’m done playing, hopefully I’m able to come back here and have a ceremony that Pau and the rest of the big men and other former Lakers have had,” he said.

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