Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most successful big men in NBA history.
But he was left out of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss’ list of the top five all-time contributors to the franchise.
Buss named Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and former coach Phil Jackson. On Wednesday, the three-time NBA Finals MVP used one word to respond to the omission.
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“Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy,” he captioned an Instagram post with a graphic of Bryant, Abdul-Jabbar, James, Johnson and Jackson. The second photo in the post was a photo of O’Neal looking surprised.
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Buss’ list appeared during an interview on the “All the Smoke” podcast hosted by former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. Barnes spent two seasons with the Lakers.
At one point in the interview, Barnes and Jackson asked Buss to name the five Lakers he considered most important in franchise history.
Jackson won 11 NBA championships as a head coach, including five with the Lakers. He coached Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s during the franchise’s two three-time championships. Buss dated Jackson and later became his fiancée.
“Does Phil count?” Buss asked before admitting that he would make his list.
Buss’s list generated some controversy.
“I saw the other day that Jeanie Buss made a statement. The five most important Lakers. One of the most offensive things I’ve ever heard in my life,” former Lakers executive and player Jerry West said on the “Hoop Du Jour Podcast”. “
“I was there many times, I was very successful. Be curious if they would have been that successful if I hadn’t been there.”
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During his eight-year tenure in Los Angeles, O’Neal helped the franchise win three championships. He left to join the Miami Heat and won his fourth title with the Heat.