‘Of Course You’re Top 5’ Jeanie Buss Clarifies Her Excluding Shaquille O’Neal From her Top 5 Lakers

Published 05/06/2021, 10:29 AM EDT
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JUNE 12: Kobe Bryant, Lindsey Hunter and Shaquille O’Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrate following Game Four of the NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets on June 12, 2002 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images)


Shaquille O’Neal was arguably the most dominant superstar in his prime. While he did have productive seasons with the Orlando Magic and with the Miami Heat, his most successful stint as a superstar undoubtedly came with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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After signing with the Lakers in 1996, Shaq played for the Purple and Gold for eight years. During these eight years, Diesel formed a dangerous duo with Kobe Bryant and after three seasons, this duo started to flourish.

With Shaq’s dominance in the paint and Kobe’s electrifying pace and athleticism, the Lakers were a force to behold in the early 2000s and won three of the four finals series they played in.

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Lakers’ president Jeanie Buss clarifies her recent comments on Shaq

The Lakers organisation has seen a host of superstars over the years. From Magic and Kareem to Kobe and Shaq, and more recently, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the team has had its fair share of legendary players and coaches. Inasmuch, the team’s list of top five most influential people would certainly mean leaving out a Hall of Famer.

Recently President Jeanie Buss made an appearance at All The Smoke podcast. There, the 59-year-old spoke about the five most influential people in Lakers’ history, a list which had Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, LeBron James and Phil Jackson.

But there was one notable miss, as Buss did not include Shaquille O’Neal in the list. Understandably this caused a stir among the fans, and even Shaq reacted to the same, but the big man rather had a mild reaction to the same.

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Given all the hype surrounding her comments, the Lakers President clarified her comments. Buss tweeted that Shaq is surely in the top 5 players for the Purple and Gold saying, “if the list was only players, of course you’re top 5.”

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While some Lakers fans might be pleased Buss’ initial list, the Diesel’s influence on the Lakers cannot be ignored. Given how he carried the Lakers in multiple playoff series’ and gave them instant success with three championships, O’Neal certainly left his mark on Lakers’ history and surely deserves to be in the top five most influential Lakers ever.

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Aditya Mohapatra

879 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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