Shaquille O'Neal Tells Jimmy Kimmel He Wouldn't Join Lakers or Clippers Today

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 17, 2019

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 24: Shaquille O'Neal attends the 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Basketball Hall of Famer and Inside the NBA analyst Shaquille O'Neal went on Jimmy Kimmel Live and offered his takes on the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers after their eventful offseasons made both franchises strong championship contenders for the foreseeable future.   

Of note, show host Jimmy Kimmel asked O'Neal which team he'd rather play for today.

"Not one of those teams," the four-time NBA champion replied. "I'm from the era where guys wanted to compete and beat each other. So I would ... go on a team that needs a superstar, and I'd teach them guys how to beat the superteams."

The Lakers traded for six-time All-Star Anthony Davis this offseason to join up with four-time NBA MVP LeBron James. The Clippers added two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard via free agency and six-time All-Star Paul George through a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Kimmel also asked O'Neal whether he thought the Lakers or Clippers would do better next season.

"Listen, I gotta go with the Lakers," O'Neal said. "However, L.A. has always been a very exciting city, but next year basketball in the city is going to be very exciting. ... But I'm Lakers. Purple and Gold 'til I die."

Kimmel also asked for O'Neal's take on why Leonard chose the Clippers over the Lakers in free agency, and the big man cited front-office advisor Jerry West.

"Because Jerry West is the master," he said. "... Jerry West knows how to read people, and he probably had a conversation with him and was probably just straight up with him."

West has won eight NBA titles as an executive with the Lakers and Golden State Warriors.

The Clippers and Lakers are first and second, respectively, on the Caesars Palace odds ledger to win the 2019-20 NBA title at 7-2 and 4-1.


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