The Los Angeles Lakers need a head coach after the franchise fired Frank Vogel once the 2021-22 NBA regular season came to an end. Could Shaquille O'Neal be in the running to be the next Lakers coach? On a recent episode of Big Podcast with Shaq, O'Neal said he would be the head coach of the Lakers if he was paid $25 million.
"If they offered me $25 million a year for four years, I would coach the Lakers," he said, per CBS Sports. O'Neal's comments come not too long after hip-hop artist and actor Master P told TMZ that he would like to be the coach of the Lakers with O'Neal as his assistant. And while O'Neal has a good relationship with Master P, he has no interest in being an assistant coach.
"Let's just say they have a conversation with Master P and they don't pick him," Shaq said. "Now I'm just going to go in as a side meeting and just say, 'hey I know you don't want to consider my good friend Master P, but if you want me this is the fee." The Lakers fired Vogel after the team finished with a 33-49 record. The team is two years removed from the LeBron James leading the team to an NBA Finals win.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Frank both on and off the court," Rob Pelinka, the Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager, said in a statement. "Frank is a great coach and a good man. We will forever be grateful to him for his work in guiding us to the 2019-20 NBA championship. This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one we feel is necessary at this point. All of us here wish Frank and his wonderful family all the best for the future."
O'Neal played for the Lakers from 1996 to 2004 and helped the team win three consecutive NBA Championships (2000-2002). And in those three title victories, O'Neal was named NBA Finals MVP each year. O'Neal would go on to win another NBA Championship with the Miami Heat in 2006 and would have his numbers retired by both teams.