The biggest story of the 2018 NBA offseason undoubtedly was what LeBron James would decide in free agency. That was answered when James agreed to a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers on the first day of free agency.
As an unrestricted free agent, it was believed James was down to deciding between the Cleveland Cavaliers, Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers. The Houston Rockets were mentioned as a potential suitor faded as a perceived option.
One reason for James to leave his hometown Cavaliers was for the ability to win more championships. However, the Lakers don’t necessarily present an immediate option to accomplish as much.
Although James’ success and failures in the NBA Finals are signifiant talking points, Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal believes his former teammate’s legacy is already cemented, via ESPN’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,” O’Neal said. “He done already passed up legends; he done already made his mark — he has three rings. His mentality now is probably: 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.”
O’Neal is right in that there is no doubt James is a certified legend and one of the greatest players to ever step foot on an NBA floor. He could never win another ring and still be viewed in the eyes of many as the best player ever.
Of course, now that he’s signed with the Lakers, winning so much as one championship with the storied franchise will only further James’ status as an all-time great.