O’Neal claimed that he doesn’t know who Hachimura is on the latest episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq.
“I ain’t never heard of him,” O’Neal said of Hachimura. “I mean, you know we gave up Kendrick Nunn – he wasn’t really doing nothing, but listen – I’m going to get on my Spice [Adams] thing right now. My Lakers, we all about winning them championships.
“If it ain’t no piece that gon’ win a championship, I don’t want to see it. I don’t even know who that is.”
O’Neal called out Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka in the process, saying the team should have made a trade for Bradley Beal.
“It should have said Bradley Beal,” O’Neal said. “If you want to impress me. Come on, Rob. That’s all I gotta say. I don’t even know who the f— that is.”
O’Neal is being pretty hard on Hachimura, who was a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. While he hasn’t developed into a star, Hachimura is a solid player that should help the Lakers make a run at playoff spot this season.
In 30 games for the Wizards this season, Hachimura averaged 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 48.8 percent from the field and 33.7 percent from beyond the arc.
He made his Lakers debut against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, playing 22 minutes off the bench and scoring 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field. He also added six rebounds in the contest.
While it’s understandable that O’Neal would have liked to see the team acquire a star like Beal, the price would have been much higher than what the Lakers gave up for Hachimura.
Los Angeles only had to part ways with Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to get the former lottery pick. A deal for Beal, who Washington may not even be willing to trade at this point, would have cost the Lakers some much better assets.
The Lakers seem confident that Hachimura will fit in well alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles, as they plan to extend his contract beyond this season. Hachimura is set to become a restricted free agent following the 2022-23 campaign.
The newly acquired Lakers forward will look to prove O’Neal wrong and make sure that the Lakers legend remembers his name by helping the team to the playoffs this season.