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Lakers News: Shaquille O’Neal Makes Risky Bet On LA

Why would you do that, Shaq?

Longtime Los Angeles Lakers great-turned-TNT broadcaster Shaquille O'Neal made a pretty dice vote of confidence in this year's LA squad.

Ahead of LA's Tuesday night battle against the Memphis Grizzlies, a 121-109 loss, Memphis small forward Dillon Brooks was photographed walking through the tunnels of his home arena in a truly insane getup.

“If the Lakers don’t make the playoffs, I’ll wear that on the last [TNT] show [April 4th],” O'Neal pledged. 

It was a big swing.

It also felt somewhat optimistic -- or perhaps Shaq just actually wanted to wear the Dillon Brooks outfit at the end of TNT's broadcast season, come to think of it.

At 30-33, the Lakers currently are out of even the 2023 play-in picture, as they occupy the Western Conference's No. 11 seed. It could prove to be an uphill battle to make the postseason cut. LA will be without All-Star small forward LeBron James for the ensuing three weeks, and has been without starting point guard D'Angelo Russell for the past week thus far.

Starting center Anthony Davis missed Wednesday's action with right foot stress injury maintenance, and is merely probable to play tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies. Should Davis and Russell continue to miss time, in addition to James, LA has absolutely no chance to make the playoffs. Yes, the team would still have a shot at qualifying for the play-in tournament, but without fielding a healthy roster, its ceiling would probably fall short of the playoffs.

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