Are the Lakers tanking or quitting? Former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal seems to think so.

The 49-year-old is known for his hard comments on any player or team. But being a former member of the purple and gold, he knows that the team carries too much pride to allow other teams to visit them and have their way against the Lakers.

“When you’re a Laker, and you’re a big-name player, and you’re playing in L.A., all opponents, I don’t care who they are, they’re going to be coming into L.A. and they’re going to be playing above their heads,” the four-time NBA champion said.

In his opinion, the Lakers appear to be quitting the season and pointed out the lack of effort that the LeBron James-led team has been showing.

“You’ve gotta at least put more effort into it,” he said. “I don’t mind losing, but when you don’t have a lot of effort, it shows that, I hate to use this word, it looks like they’re quitting.”

The Lakers lost their fourth-straight loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers, 132-111. But despite the loss, head coach Frank Vogel remains bullish they can still save the season.

For that to happen, they need to make changes. And that could include seeing Russell Westbrook take on a different role.

Sitting out the former NBA MVP does not appear to be in the cards for now. Rather, Westbrook will be coming off the bench, probably the lesser of two evils.

The move may not make sense or would be irrelevant. At the end of the day, winning is everything.

LeBron James is doing his share but it is not enough. So if not Westbrook and with Anthony Davis on the sidelines, it will be interesting who Vogel will pick to back up James moving forward.

Emmitt Smith and Shaquille O'Neal
Emmitt Smith and Shaquille O'Neal Getty Images | Mike Coppola

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