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Shaq has no advice for LeBron… other than what MJ said

Jun 27, 2011, 1:11 PM EDT

Shaquille O'Neal laughs as he announces his retirement from NBA at a news conference in Windermere Reuters

Shaquille O’Neal had a massive, blowout retirement party at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas. I didn’t get an invite either, don’t feel bad.

Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review Journal was there and asked the big man if he had any advice for former teammate LeBron James (via CBS’ Eye on Basketball):

“No,” said Shaq, during a red, white and green carpet interview before his retirement party at the Palms on Saturday.

“Experience is the best teacher,” he said, adding, “Michael (Jordan) told me ‘You must fall before you can stand.’ ”

He’s right. Jordan is now a mythic figure, we often forget the three years in a row the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons knocked him out of the playoffs and taught him hard lessons. Virtually every great player — Shaq, Larry Bird, Dirk Nowitzki and countless others — had to learn to succeed through dealing with failure.

LeBron has not learned that lesson yet; how to accept failure as a possible outcome and not fear it. Sometimes it takes a few hard lessons to really get there. LeBron just got another one, and there’s nothing Shaq can probably tell him that he doesn’t already know.

  1. chargerdillon - Jun 27, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    No former champion mentioned above ever backed away from the spotlight in the big games. No great champion ever did the type of crap we’ve seen Lebron do in the last 2 years.

    From the second to last game with the Cavs where her basically quit on his team and didn’t take shots at all letting his team get steamrolled and blow out all confidence before the last game. To what we saw this year where in game 5 he came out telling everybody this is where they need to step up and play and he put up what, 6 or 8 points for the whole game.

    Physically Lebrong may be better than every single great champion named. Mentally Lebron has no clue what to do with all of the abilities he possesses. To me it looks like the sign of a guy who has never been allowed to fail to know how, so rather than accept any failure he’s living in denial about it which you can clearly tell from the way he gives bad interviews after losses.

    Im a huge Lebron fan on the court, i just hope Lebron the person decides to grow up at some point.

    • tashkalucy - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:45 PM

      Hey, don’t sell the man short!

      He quit in the Magic series the year before he quit against the Celtics.

      It’s haters like you that misrepresent his record.

  2. damp1015 - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    He is learning his lessons, and people take in things differently. We can’t expect each superstar to absorb the losses and failures just like legends had previously. I believe he will grow into a much better player and person as time grows on for him. He may not be Jordan, but I believe he is going to retire alot of respect that he will earn in time.

    The rings will come in time, closing will come in time.

    • tashkalucy - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:42 PM


      As I recall Kobe only made one game winning playoff shot as well in his first 8 years.

    • tashkalucy - Jun 27, 2011 at 5:07 PM

      That was sarcasm, but I think it got right past most of you.

      Kobe constantly closed out games by his 3rd year.

  3. ac0117 - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    I agree that in terms of pure talent and physical ability/build Lebron may be the best we’ve ever seen and I think to some degree that’s what Pippen was getting at… that he COULD be better than Jordan

    However, he doesn’t have that alpha male personality and shrinks in big moments. Not hating, just calling it like I see it. Doesn’t mean hes not a great player but I think to be considered with the greatest of all times, you have to have that killer in you and he doesn’t.

    • jizzojames - Jun 28, 2011 at 2:31 AM

      This whole Lebron may have the best all around game basketball has ever seen is starting to get ridiculous. Michael Jordan came in the league averaging 28pts 6rebs 6ast. By his 5th year those numbers were 32pts 8rebs & 8ast. Is that not all around game while never shooting under 46%? Sure he didn’t win rings until 7th season, and the addition of Scottie Pippen but he had a great “All around game”!! That’s probably why since Michael Jordan, the NBA has been in search for the next “Michael Jordan”, as he has been the measuring stick for all players. No matter what Lebron is Lebron, and what he does is just that. He is a good player, but not a champion and unworthy to be comapred to greats such as Shaq, or Michael or anybody else for that matter.

      • sasquash20 - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        Wilt changed the game. Had he come up in a different era, and not had to face the best team in basketball history (Celtics) every year in the playoffs he would be recognized more for his greatness. Two rings, better stats then anyone will ever have(not even close), and 20,000 women. Clearly best all around game on and off the court ever!

  4. bobwsc - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Bird? they won it in his second year and his rookie year saw a huge turnaround.

  5. essfjay - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    LeBron just doesn’t have that killer instinct like MJ or Kobe. those guys thrive in pressure situations, & LeBron well he would rather dish the ball to Juwan Howard…

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    “Virtually every great player — Shaq, Larry Bird, Dirk Nowitzki and countless others — had to learn to succeed through dealing with failure.”

    Kurt, you are so filled with love for Lebron and the Heat, you have no clue what the hell you are talking about. How you lumped Larry Bird into this line shows the true dearth of your basketball knowledge.

    78-79(last year pre-Bird) 29-53
    79-80(Bird’s First Year) 61-21 Eastern Conference Finals
    80-81 Won Championship
    81-82 Eastern Conference Finals
    82-83 Eastern Conference Semis
    83-84 Won Championship
    84-85 Lost Finals
    85-86 Won Championship

    So Larry Bird’s first 7 years, he won 3 titles, and his teams were 434-140 during the regular season.

    I guess turning around a 29 win team and winning 75% of your games for 7 years, and winning 3 titles counts as “learn[ing] to succeed through dealing with failure”? What a dumb ass statement.

    • Kurt Helin - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:39 AM

      Did Bird lose is the Eastern Conference Finals his first year? Did he lose the NCAA title game in college? Have you spoken to Bird and listened to him talk about needing to learn to win (and in particular get past Magic)? He has done all that.

  7. redbear18 - Jun 27, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    How come Lebron didn’t go to college? He never showed up for the finals. Seriously though, he can ball like no other when it doesn’t matter, but when the pressure’s on, he falls apart.

    • tashkalucy - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:39 PM

      ” Seriously though, he can ball like no other when it doesn’t matter, but when the pressure’s on, he falls apart.”

      You noticed that too?!?!?!?

      And here I thought it was just me.

  8. tashkalucy - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    I have some good advise for Lebron…..

    STFU !!!!!!!!!!

    We’re sick of hearing from you and about you.

    • tashkalucy - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:38 PM

      Just kidding Lebron.

      Hey big guy, I dig your style.

      Next year when you do your chalk toss, you can wear a cape. Better yet, put a mask on as well, and refer to yourself in the 3rd person as “The Masked Avenger”. That ought to help Nike sell some $49.95 shoes for $170 because it has a logo of you and your name on it,

      A lockout for the entire season is coming…..maybe you can wear the cape and mask to he union/owner negotiations. Throw up the chalk just before the meeting starts. You never have had a problem doing something in bad taste when you get everyone to look at you.

      Cough, cough big guy!

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 27, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      I thought they interviewed Shaq not LeBron? Shaq is talking about LeBron so is the rest of the world. He hasn’t said anything since the Finals…

      LeBron is being used in as much of these titles as possible, then all the sheeple click and read. It’s how it works. Who really gives a rats @ss what Shaq thinks about LeBron??

      Here’s a tip stop reading LeBron articles and these blood thirsty writers will stop writing about him. Untill then LeBron will be in every other Story on this website.

      • pl4tinum514 - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        We’re just reading because we’re hoping Shaq is going to give us the nitty gritty on Delonte suckin on Gloria’s t*tty.

  9. cserisey - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    From a Cavs fan, I have to say; Amen tashkalucy!!!!! You said all there is to say on the subject Bro.

  10. shawnc16 - Jun 27, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Great post chargerdillion

  11. Ben Shelden - Jun 27, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    The some of the criticisms being made about LeBron James reminds me of comments I have read for years about Dirk Nowitzki. If you do not believe me, just enter “Dirk Nowitzki choke 2009” into a search engine and read some of the results

    • sasquash20 - Jun 28, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      LeFraud is the most hyped player ever. Dirk was what the 8th pick in the draft.The difference is LeFraud left the team that drafted him to join an allstar team. Dirk stayed in Dallas and over came through hard work and team work with his fellow team mates. LeFraud grew up right next to Cleveland, a city that is dying for a ring. All he had to do was win one in Cleveland and he would be considered one of the greatest ever. He would have been loved like no other in Cleveland forever. Now he has to win at least 5 in Miami to even be mentioned with the greats.

  12. fattycoats - Jun 27, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    Shaq is just as big of an idiot as Lebrick if he couldn’t give him any advice. It’s pretty damn simple, PLAY. THE. 4TH. QUARTER!

  13. mogogo1 - Jun 27, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    LeBron is way closer to “getting it” on the court than he is off it. A guy who can think three moves ahead on the court couldn’t see The Decision was going to turn into a PR nightmare? He’s his own worst enemy. Shaq was such a likable character he openly feuded with Kobe and everybody still loved him. Can you imagine the fallout if LeBron got into it with Wade? He gives people very few reasons to like him and until that changes, most people won’t like him.

    • edweird0 - Jun 27, 2011 at 6:38 PM

      Oh man, if he EVER got into it with Wade we’d ship his ass out in a hot minute. He’s not THAT stupid tho, he knows whose city it really is.

  14. diablito0402 - Jun 27, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    Goddamm how many times lechoke gotta fall flat on his face to get up, have u seen his nose, its flat from all the falls hes had, the sad thing is, i see more falls flat on his face in the future,,,, as far a kobe, he had 3 rings in his first 8 years and dominated the 4th quarters of games because shaq couldnt make a free throw to save his behind, you hear me,, THE 4TH QUARTER of playoff games.

    • tashkalucy - Jun 27, 2011 at 5:46 PM

      And Kobe joined the NBA out of high school as well.

      It could be argued that since the Piston game 4 years ago, Lebron James has slowly become less effective.

      How in heavens name could James and Wade be as dominant as their marketing people claim them to be, and not roll over the Mavs in 5 games at most? All I heard from James, Wade and Bosh was how they could’t win because their teammates weren’t good enough. Well fine, they pit themselves on he same team and couldn’t win. Two ballhogs and a soft PF that wants to park out on the perimeter.


      P.S. And their buddie Carmelo Anthony – another one that blamed his teammates (i Denver). yeah, he sue revitalized those Knocks when he got there.

      • edweird0 - Jun 27, 2011 at 6:47 PM

        Dude you’re like a rabid dog that needs to be put down, the hate is spewing from your mouth. How are you a ball hog when your one of the best players on the team? And as for ‘Melo, I could care less about him but only a fool such as yourself would try to bunch him up in that group knowing full well he went to the knicks with only a couple months until the playoffs. Please take your hate blinders off, your making a fool of yourself.

      • realfootballfan - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:55 PM

        Yes, because comparing a young Kobee playing next to the most dominant player of this era is comparable to what he walked into with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I know people were clamoring for teammates like Ricky Davis, Larry Hughes, etc.

  15. mikeinthevine - Jun 27, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    LeQuit won’t learn, because he is an arrogant prick!

  16. nehasrealsports - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Screw lebron he should make another DECISION and disappear like the coward he is…. Not saying he isn’t talented just saying he don’t care about nobody but himself and basketball isn’t a one man show.

  17. realfootballfan - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    When will the focus move from James to what happened every time he played the Mavericks, every time he always plays the Mavs, they defend him awfully well. He never scored over 24 points in any game against them. Maybe, just maybe it had nothing to do with what he didn’t do, and has more to do with what they did in all 8 games they played him this season.

    Also, Jordan was the best player I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, but give the ball washing a rest, it’s getting embarrassing.

    I’m especially speaking of the losers from his era that elevate him to mythic status in order to explain their own failings (I’m looking directly at you Barkley).

    I saw Jordan get dominated on several occasions when he went up against the BAd Boys, nobody thought he’d ever beat them. Joe Dumars and Vinny Johnson along with those trees inside owned him before the Bulls finally broke through in ’91.

    So, please stop with the revisionist history that Jordan was never humbled, took over games at will during the entirity of his playoff career, and that he never met teams that simply beat him, which is exactly what just happened to Lebron James. There’s no crime in that, it happens, so give it a rest.

  18. nehasrealsports - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    Lebron hasn’t said anything since the finals cuz he has nothing to say …. I mean what would u say if went in front of millions of people on national television to tell the world your going to play with am all star team cuz u can’t win any other way and then when All is said and done u don’t win anyway …. I hope u never win a trophy the only way u ever will is if u can convince Jordan and bird and magic to come out of retirement and join up with u and let’s face they don’t even like u … Let’s hang it up lebron

  19. coltsfanindc - Jun 27, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    Kobe averaged 16pts in his first Finals. thank God he had Shaq!!! paxton had more 4th qtr points than Jordan in game 5 of his first Finals. was MJ deferring when he made all those passes or good team ball?? just asking

    just saying.

    • damienthorne2012 - Jul 3, 2011 at 3:39 AM

      Sigh….when people say Kobe “only” averaged 16pts in his first finals..thank God he had Shaq, I can automatically tell 2 things.
      1. They didnt actually watch the games.
      2. They really don’t know anything about “Afro Kobe”. lol.
      Forgive the long post, but it has to be broken down for some folks.

      Game 1 (Lakers win, 104-87)


      38 MIN, 6-13 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-2 FT, 3 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK, 2 TO, 14 PTS

      Bryant’s first NBA Finals game would be a rout, with Shaquille O’Neal proving to be too much for the Indiana with 43 points and 19 rebounds. Bryant provided the fast start in the game, going 4-6 in the first quarter for 8 quick points. From that point on, it would be O’Neal’s game, as he dominated the Pacers in his first Finals game since being swept by the Houston Rockets as a member of the Orlando Magic. Aside from his fast offensive start, Bryant’s most valuable contribution was his defense of Indiana’s leading scorer, Reggie Miller. Guarding Miller almost exclusively, Bryant would force the Pacer guard in to one of the worst shooting performances in NBA Finals history. Miller would shoot only 1-16 in the game, for a career playoff-low 7 points.

      Game 2 (Lakers win, 111-104)


      9 MIN, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 1 REB, 4 AST, 0 STL, 1 BLK, 0 TO, 2 PTS

      Following a strong start to his Finals career, Kobe would suffer a major blow, injuring his ankle early in the second quarter. After distributing 4 assists in the first quarter, Bryant landed awkwardly on his ankle and was forced to miss the rest of Game 2. Following his early departure, Los Angeles would ride Shaquille O’Neal to a close victory, as he provided 40 points and 24 rebounds.

      Game 3 (Pacers win, 100-91)


      DNP-Ankle Injury

      Game 3 of the 2000 NBA Finals marked the only time that Kobe Bryant would miss a Finals game. His loss was obvious early, as Reggie Miller, who had been held to only 28 total points in the first two games, would score 33 in the first Finals game at Conseco Fieldhouse. This game marked the beginning of Bryant’s indispensability as a player, as it became clear that O’Neal alone could not lead the Lakers to a title. Shaq’s 33 points and 13 rebounds did not prove to be enough without Bryant’s ability to create offense for the Lakers’ role players and his defense of Miller.

      Game 4 (Lakers win, 120-118)


      47 MIN, 14-27 FG, 0-0 3FG, 0-0 FT, 4 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK, 3 TO, 28 PTS

      In one of the greatest clutch performances in NBA Finals history, Kobe Bryant introduced himself to basketball’s biggest stage. Playing on an ankle that required heavy taping and ice throughout the game, Bryant pushed the Pacers to the brink of elimination. In the first half, Bryant appeared rusty and his ankle seemed to be a major problem. He would score only 6 points in the opening half, and picked up 4 fouls in his attempts to guard Mark Jackson and Reggie Miller.

      It did not appear to improve for Kobe early in the second half, as he collected his fifth foul in the third quarter. However, worrying that his ankle would tighten with rest, Phil Jackson left Bryant in the game. He responded by making three consecutive baskets, and pulling the Lakers ahead. The Pacers would eventually pull even on a Sam Perkins three-pointer, and the game would go to overtime.

      Kobe had scored 14 points in the second half, but O’Neal was still the Lakers’ first option, and continued to score early in the extra period. However, with 2:33 remaining in the game, Shaq fouled out. Facing the possibility of allowing the Pacers to draw even in the series, Phil Jackson allowed the 21-year-old Bryant to run isolation plays on three consecutive offensive possessions. On each of the three trips, Bryant scored.

      Despite his hot shooting, the Pacers would pull to within one point with less than 40 second remaining in overtime. As the shot clock expired on L.A.’s final possession, Brian Shaw shot and missed a runner. However, with his most clutch basket off the game, Kobe Bryant rebounded the miss and put it in a reverse layup. The three-point lead created by the basket would be too much for Indiana to overcome, and the Lakers would take an insurmountable 3-1 lead in the series. Bryant’s 8 points in overtime are the second most overtime points in NBA Finals history.

      Game 5 (Pacers win, 120-87)


      37 MIN, 4-20 FG, 0-1 3FG, 0-0 FT, 5 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 0 BLK, 0 TO, 8 PTS

      In one of the worst losses in Los Angeles’ postseason history, Kobe Bryant had his worst playoff game to date. Making only 20% of his shots for only 8 points, Bryant was among the many L.A. players to fail miserably with an opportunity to win the championship. The only Laker to have any offensive success was Shaquille O’Neal, as he scored 35 points.

      Game 6 (Lakers win, 116-111)


      45 MIN, 8-27 FG, 2-6 3FG, 8-9 FT, 10 REB, 4 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK, 1 TO, 26 PTS

      Playing with an opportunity to win a championship on their home floor, the Lakers proved to be up to the task. Led by the tandem of Shaquille O’Neal, who scored 40 points, and Bryant, with 26, Los Angeles won its first NBA Championship since 1988. Despite a poor shooting performance, Bryant once again proved himself in the clutch, hitting five free throws in the final minutes to hold off the Pacers’ comeback attempt. While O’Neal would rightfully be named Most Valuable Player of the Finals, Kobe Bryant had made his presence felt, and would return to the Championship Round the following year with a far larger impact.

      Kobe Bryant’s 2000 NBA Finals averages (5 games):

      15.6 points per game

      4.3 rebounds per game

      4.2 assists per game

      44.2 minutes per game

      41.25 field goal percentage

      LOL…Just sayin.

      • damienthorne2012 - Jul 3, 2011 at 4:22 AM Y’all Must have forgot…lol

  20. diablito0402 - Jun 28, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    I compare lebron to john starks, the only thing starks dont got its the 2 mvps, other than that pretty much the same accomplishments, no rings and a history of choking in crunch time in the playoffs.

    • pl4tinum514 - Jun 28, 2011 at 12:35 PM

      Starks would poop on your neck if he saw this.

  21. mcbolt724 - Jun 28, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Lebron is not MJ, nor is he even Kobe. He’s not even D-Wade. And never will be. He does not have the “killer” instinct those players have, and had. The teams he has played simply played better Defense on him than anyone else was able to play, in each particular year he has been in the Finals yet, and even if he was MJ, Kobe, or D-Wade, those guys have all proven they can and want to make it happen, when it matters, but even they were not always able to will their teams to victory by their sheer will-power. Basketball is a Team game, and while it is the sport that is most easily influenced by a star player, as there are only 5 guys on the floor at a time, 1 guy can make a huge difference. But, its still a Team game, and Team Defense will always win out on a Singular Player (MJ, Kobe, D-Wade). It is what it is, Lebron does not have that “killer-instinct” that is required to be The Man. That’s doesn’t mean they won’t surround him and Wade with a cast of characters good enuff to bring a couple championships to South Beach. They just won’t be because of LBJ. But they don’t have to be, cuz he has D-Wade to be the killer, so he doesn’t have to be The Man in Q4, he has a team-mate to do that for him. Which is what I thought would happen this year. Guess they just haven’t figured that out yet. But wait, nest year, D-Wade will be closing out all the games for them. And then, they will get that Trophy. Unfortunately for the rest of us…

  22. therookie773 - Jul 3, 2011 at 4:34 AM

    Man, Iverson in 2001 sacrificed himself even more in the Finals. Not to mention his body was absolutely broken by the time he faced Kobe and Shaq, he had like 13 injuries all over his body and he kept balling.

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