Shaquille O’Neal is ‘in Agreeance With Lebron James’ After His Criticism of NBA Play-in Tournament

Published 05/05/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
Apr 22, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers injured forward LeBron James (23) yells during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA play-in tournament has become a hot of debate this season. Not only are the fans deliberating over it, but the players and owners are also voicing their opinion on it. Recently, LeBron James made some unfavorable remarks about it.

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With his Los Angeles Lakers team sliding down the table, he is very much against it. In fact, he called for the person who came up with the idea to be relieved of his duties. And he’s found an ally in former Laker, Shaquille O’Neal

“These two years, I am okay with it. But if you are trying to change the rules and say ‘forever’, (then) I am in agreeance with LeBron (James).”

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But Shaq is not vouching for this season’s play-in tournament to be canceled. “Because you know last year with the Bubble, shortened games and this year starting the season late and ending late – I am in for the Play-in tournament. But after this, I don’t ever want to see it again.”

Dwyane Wade does not side with LeBron James but understands his stance

LeBron’s criticism came after Mavericks’ Luka Doncic also blasted it when his team was lying seventh in the West. The Lakers are dangerously close to being the seventh seed now as just one game separates them from the Blazers. Moreover, LeBron’s out for the next few games after re-injuring his ankle.

May 2, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Toronto Raptors. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Hence, the last thing that their injury-prone and aged roster needs right now is a fixture pile-up. But this is from his team’s own point of view. His former teammate, Dwyane Wade, chooses to look at the bright side of the play-in tournament.

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“The jury is still out. I am not one of the guys that’s playing extra games, I am not one of the guys that’s getting an opportunity that I would not have if I possibly miss the playoffs,” Wade told the ‘NBA on TNT’ panel.

14 March 2012: Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) talks to Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the Chicago Bulls 106-102 victory over the Miami Heat at the United Center, Chicago, Illinois, USA. (Photo by Mark Halmas/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“You look at one end and you say, ‘Yeah, LeBron does not want to play the extra games.’ Then you look on the other end with young guys like Ja Morant and those guys are fighting. We are like, ‘Please, let them play.’

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The king is mad, and he’s stirred up a debate. But like D-Wade said, only time will tell the pros and cons of the play-in tournament.

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Bharat Aggarwal

755 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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