Over the past few days, it seems that anybody related in any way to the NBA feels obligated to share their feelings on the Shaq signing. Whether you like it or not, Shaq is still a hot topic for sports fans, especially when he signs with a banner-laden franchise like the Boston Celtics. Here’s are quotes from some current Celtics, and former assistant coach Tom Thibodeau.
Ray Allen, via the Associated Press:
“It’s definitely interesting to me, because I think he can help us,” Allen said. “One of our bad traits this past year was offensive rebounding and rebounding in general, and he’s a guy that takes up a lot of space, so I definitely think he can help us.
Count on Ray to provide the most cerebral take on the Shaq signing yet. The one guarantee from the signing is that Shaq is going to shore up our rebounding issues. He may suck defensively, he may whiff on every defensive pick-and-roll, he may brick a thousand free thows, but Shaq is going to improve our pathetic rebounding from last season. I hesitate to remind you that both Kobe Bryant and Pao Gasol were right around the 20-rebound mark in Game 7 of last season’s NBA Finals.
Tom Thibodeau, on ESPN Radio, via ESPN Boston:
“It’s an interesting move,” said Thibodeau. “It’s a calculated risk. I think there are things he brings to the table. I think the big thing is with [Kendrick] Perkins being out until January, and you never know how long it will take when he does come back, Perkins is a very underrated player. I think he’s a huge key to the team defense. So I think what they’re doing is trying to protect themselves until Kendrick can come back.
“Shaq is a guy you can throw the ball to. He can still get a pretty good shot up. His size is a factor. You start looking at their length up front now. They added a couple 7-footers with Jermaine O’Neal. He really had a terrific season last season with Miami, so they added some shot-blocking there. I think part of it is trying to hold the fort until Kendrick can come back, but when he does come back, you’re going to have three guys at the center position, so that could be tough.
“I think he does add some things to their team.”
Nate Robinson, via Beaumont Enterprise:
“It’s going to be fun,” Robinson said. “Things are going to be bonkers, but in a good way. We’re just waiting to see how it is.”
And again, Kendrick Perkins declined comment on the signing at his basketball camp in Beaumont, Texas. Seems like Perkins feels a little threatened by Shaq’s presence, or he hasn’t quite forgotten the elbow Shaq landed on his face during the playoffs.
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