Shaquille O'Neal knows a thing or two about cementing a legacy, so it should speak volumes that he doesn't believe LeBron James needs to chase rings as he prepares to enter unrestricted free agency this summer.
O'Neal explained his thinking Friday during a conversation with ESPN.com's Ian Begley:
"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. He done already passed up legends, he done already made his mark -- he has three rings. His mentality now is probably is: I want to get four before (Golden State Warriors guard) Steph (Curry) does. That's probably his mentality now. But if I was him, I wouldn't be trying to get four, five and six because it ain't going to matter. It's just something else to talk about, something else to add to the pages. He's a legend, talked about as who is the best between he and Michael Jordan so he's set."
To Shaq's point, LeBron already owns three rings and has surpassed Michael Jordan as the top scorer in NBA postseason history. He's also one of seven players to register at least 30,000 points and will pass Dirk Nowitzki for sixth on the all-time scoring list in short order.
However, Shaq's perspective differs quite a bit from Kobe Bryant's. During a recent conversation with Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, Bryant explained he thinks LeBron should choose a destination in free agency that will give him the best chance to add to his ring count.
"If I'm Bron, you got to figure out a way to win," he said. "It's not about narrative. You want to win championships, you just gotta figure it out."
James can become an unrestricted free agent by declining his $35.6 million player option with the Cleveland Cavaliers any time before the calendar rolls over to June 30.
According to OddsShark, the Los Angeles Lakers are -110 (bet $110 to win $100) favorites to land James in free agency. The Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers are listed as co-second choices at +450 (bet $100 to win $450).