Ten years ago, Shaquille O’Neal was a devastating force unlike any ever seen on a basketball court.
He was a human wrecking ball of strength, power and athleticism. He was a threat to break hoops, destroy opponents, and win a championship every season.Ten years ago.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, Hawks and Mavericks, they’re interested in acquiring Shaquille O’Nealten years later. It’s unclear what the C’s would be offering Shaq, but it would likely take the full mid-level exception. Sources say the discussions have been preliminary. (ESPN)
O’Neal would be interested in playing for each of the three teams, sources close to him said.
He has great respect for Boston’s coach, Doc Rivers, a good relationship with Kevin Garnett, and it was Shaq who gave Paul Pierce his nickname, “The Truth.” With starting center, Kendrick Perkins, sidelined for up to six months after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn ACL, O’Neal would seem to be a solid replacement.
Shaq can still score and rebound, but he comes with plenty of problems. The two biggest are that he’d clog the lane for Rondo and his pick-and-roll defense, to say the least, leaves plenty to be desired. On top of that, his post play is no longer dominant enough to overcome those two major shortcomings.
I tweeted this yesterday when I thought only the Atlanta Hawks were after Shaq, but it bears repeating: At this point in their careers, I’d rather have Semih Erden for $473,000 than Shaq for the full mid-level. And I don’t think I’m even joking. And that was after Erden had 2 points and 4 rebounds in the C’s summer league opener, playing like a summer league version of Kwame Brown. Needless to say, I am not exactly on the Shaq bandwagon.
If Shaq DOES end up signing with the Celtics, I can only hope he finishes up next season by asking Kobe how his ass tastes.