Shaquille O’Neal Makes Bold Claim About Fearing LeBron James

LeBron James. Shaquille O'Neal

Getty LeBron James. Shaquille O'Neal

Former Miami Heat superstar LeBron James has established himself as one of the very best NBA players. However, former teammate and Heat alum Shaquille O’Neal claimed that players in today’s NBA don’t fear LeBron the same way others feared previous NBA legends who came before him.

O’Neal gave his exact thoughts while talking with Heat alum Mario Chalmers on O’Neal’s podcast called “The Big Podcast.”

“I’ve heard players say, including myself, ‘I feared [Jordan].’ I’ve heard players in [Chalmers’] generation say they feared Kobe. I’ve never really heard any player say they feared LeBron,” O’Neal said, which was aggregated by the X account “NBACentral.”

O’Neal also added that James was “too nice” which he used against him compared to some of the to other NBA legends he mentioned. James and O’Neal played together for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2009-10 season. They then became rivals the following season when James joined the Heat while O’Neal joined the Celtics.

Despite the supposed nice guy persona, LeBron has won four titles, which not many players have done.

O’Neal played for the Heat from 2004 to 2008, helping them win their first title in 2006. He was elected into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

Udonis Haslem Says Chris Bosh Had More Value Than LeBron James

O’Neal is not the only Heat alum who has had some brutally harsh words for LeBron. Udonis Haslem had some, too, as he believes Chris Bosh was more integral to the Heat’s success during his time with them than James.

“Everybody thinks that our most important player was Bron. Our most important player, not our best player, but our most important player was (Bosh),” Haslem said on the March 5 episode of “The OGs.” Yeah. He was our most important player. Because if Bron went down, you could bring in D-Wade, and it’s not the same player, but you’re going to get similar results of what you’re going to get out of the player. Making plays, he can go for 30. We couldn’t simulate it. We ain’t have another CB. If [he] went down and he got hurt, we didn’t have another one of those.”

Outside of Bosh, the most talented big men those Heat teams had consisted of Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Chris Andersen, Ronny Turiaf, and Greg Oden

Norris Cole Agrees With Udonis Haslem

Heat alum Norris Cole agrees with Haslem about LeBron. In the March 7 episode of “Gil’s Arena,” Cole explained why he, too, believes Bosh was more valuable.

“We had nobody else like [Bosh]. If Bron went out… Nobody is Bron, but D-Wade can put on a clinic and put 35, 40 up, get eight assists for a couple series if we needed him too. If [Bosh] was out for too long, we had nobody else like him to create those mismatches.”

Cole did not deny that James was the Heat’s best player during that run. However, he gave Bosh credit for providing something that no one else on the Heat could in Cole’s eyes.

“Bron was our best player, but without [Bosh], we don’t win those champs because he’s the only model like him on our team. No one was 6’9, 6’10, who could pick and pop, who could pick and short roll, who could also iso, who could guard multiple positions, who could lead our small-ball lineup. We had nobody else who was like that. We just didn’t.”

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