The LA Lakers continue to be in the spotlight after hitting the offseason earlier than expected.
Their search for a new head coach carries on while they also evaluate their options on the Russell Westbrook trade front. They are likely to be in the news regarding these storylines for weeks.
Shaquille O'Neal jokingly offered to be the head coach of the Lakers weeks ago, but former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas doesn't believe O'Neal would be great in that role.
Meanwhile, LeBron James and Nike celebrated 18 years of their partnership on Sunday. The 'King' posted a story on his Instagram, saying the documentary of his partnership with Nike would be legendary.
Shaquille O'Neal as LA Lakers' next head coach? Gilbert Arenas doesn't think the 'Big Aristotle' has what it takes to be successful in that role
Former LA Lakers superstar Shaquille O'Neal claimed weeks ago that he would coach the Purple and Gold if he offered a four-year contract worth $25 million a year. O'Neal currently works as an analyst for the TNT network.
He often gives unique and bold takes on Inside The NBA show. However, Gilbert Arenas believes O'Neal, as a coach, wouldn't be able to succeed as he did during his playing days. Here's what Arenas said regarding this (via VLAD TV):
"This is not a knock against him because he was great, but he was gifted great. He was born big, athletic, and was skilled. So, the mentality of what it takes to day-in and day-out be a great player, that was Kobe’s complaint. You know, that I get here at six o’clock in the morning working on my craft and you’re just god’s gift. So will he have the brain and capacity to break down for the lames? That’s not him."
"And that’s where greats usually have a problem with, making it normal. That’s why Kobe was a great coach because Kobe didn’t have the 48-inch vertical and all this. He had to work on his craft, he had to understand the game, he had to understand angles. That’s why mediocre players make better coaches.”
LeBron James reckons a documentary on his partnership with Nike would be 'insane'
LA Lakers star LeBron James sent his fans into a frenzy by teasing the idea of releasing a documentary on his partnership with Nike. The 37-year-old signed with the company as an 18-year-old in 2003. The deal was worth $87 million for seven years. James and Nike continued to extend their contract, and he now has a lifetime deal worth $1 billion.
James was one of the most sought-after prospects coming out of college. Along with Nike, Adidas and Reebok were also after his signature, but 'King James' chose to go with Nike, following in the footsteps of his idol, Michael Jordan. He did so despite Reebok offering him a $115 million deal.
LeBron posted an Instagram story about Reebok offering him a $10 million deal as an 18-year-old. He captioned the post, saying
'The Doc is/will be insane'
Marc Stein believes Russell Westbrook will either be released or bought out by LA Lakers
Russell Westbrook has been a popular name around the league ever since the LA Lakers' disappointing 2021-22 campaign came to an end. Russ had an underwhelming debut campaign for his hometown franchise, and NBA rumors suggest he could be on the move this offseason.
However, some reports have suggested that the LA Lakers are still undecided on whether to keep him on the roster for another year. Westbrook has a $47 million player option, and moving him would require the Lakers to attach draft picks along with the former MVP in any trade scenario as his market value is negative at this point.
Senior NBA insider Marc Stein believes the LA Lakers will waive or buy out Westbrook. Here's what he mentioned in his latest Substack article:
"I, for one, still struggle to imagine a scenario where Westbrook starts next season as a Laker — even if that means releasing him or trying to hash out some sort of buyout."
"They would naturally prefer to avoid trades that require them to inject a future first-round pick to push the deal through, but they also know that the fresh-start atmosphere they hope to create when training camp begins in September will be extremely difficult to foster if Westbrook is still on the roster."