NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal warns the Lakers not to swap Lebron James

Four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal issued a stern warning to the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, saying despite an abysmal season that it would be a huge mistake to swap the team’s biggest superstar, Lebron James.

“If you swap LeBron, you’ll never win again,” O’Neal said of the Lakers in an interview with CNBC.

While the NBA trade deadline has expired, James’ contract with the Lakers expires in 2023. Some have suggested that trading with James may be the quickest and easiest way to resolve the team’s interruption.

O’Neal himself played eight seasons with the Lakers, leading the team to three championships along with Kobe Bryant. In 2004, the franchise switched the former 7’1 center to the Miami Heat.

O’Neal, who also serves as TNT broadcaster, said Monday that the Lakers should focus on surrounding James with the right set of players.

“If you put LeBron around the right guys, they’ll definitely win,” he said. “I think whoever puts the team together should step up and try to fix it.”

The Lakers are currently in 9th place in the Western Conference with a record of 27-33. The team has a 9% chance of qualifying for the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Prediction Model. Sunday night, Lakers fans buzzed to their own team after a 123-95 defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans.

“I’ve been exclaimed before, it was not a good feeling,” O’Neal said.

‘They will continue to work’

Shaquille O’Neal, NBA star and Carnival Cruise Lines Chief Fun Officer, gives guests a taste of his long-awaited dishes that will be offered at sea as part of the Big Chicken in Mardi Gras’ summer landing zone during Carnival Cruise Lines NYC Cruise Into Summer event to celebrate the arrival of Mardi Gras in 2020 at Pier 59 on June 18, 2019 in New York City.

Mike Coppola | Getty Images

Shaq’s comments came at the International Franchise Association’s annual convention, where he also spoke to CNBC about his experience as both a franchisee and a franchisee at several restaurants.

The former All-Star owns nine Papa John franchises and one Krispy Kreme franchise. He is also the co-owner and franchisor of a fast-growing chicken restaurant called “Big Chicken.”

Keisha Lance Bottoms, Steve Ritchie and Shaquille O’Neal will be attending Shaq’s Papa John’s Pizza Grand Opening on August 24, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Prince Williams | Wireimage | Getty Images

“I learned from the great Magic Johnson that it’s okay to be a superstar basketball player, but at some point you will go and invest in companies,” O’Neal said. “As a simple model, if it works and you follow the rules, they will continue to work.”

O’Neal would not disclose the profits of his franchise. He has come out of several franchises over the years, including rankings of Aunt Anne’s, Five Guys and 24 Hour Fitness. Just this year, O’Neal said, he was forced to close his LA restaurant, Shaquille’s, amid the Covid pandemic.

According to IFA, franchise growth is expected to stabilize in 2022 and expand by 2.2% to reach a total of 792,014 franchisees nationwide. The group has also found that franchising encourages higher rates of entrepreneurship among women, non-white business owners and under-represented groups – 26% of franchises are owned by people of color.

“With the franchise business, if you stick to the core values ​​of what is being taught, many times you can not go wrong,” O’Neal said.

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