A rivalry for the ages
The final chapter of the Shaq-Duncan rivalry could be the pair’s first Finals matchup. (Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo!)
Shaq was Duncan’s alter ego, the bigger-than-life cartoon character with peerless power and charisma. He was the comedian and chameleon, a force of nature and humanity. Duncan was the proud, private star full of fundamentals and free of flash.
What made O’Neal and Duncan so compelling, such an epic clash, were the ways they flourished in complete contrast.
“I imagine it was a little like what made Wilt and Russell such a great matchup,” Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said.
Together, they won eight championships and three MVP trophies and owned the NBA for more than a decade. Yes, it was all about them and now the clock’s ticking down and Duncan sighs, “We both realize there’s a lot of years behind us, and we don’t have a lot of years in front of us. We’re enjoying this time left, these situations we have here.”
Chances to be champions, again.
Two Celtics would be All-Star starters if the voting ended today. (ESPN Boston)
Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, and Shaquille O’Neal remain second at their respective positions, while Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are fourth at their spots. Rondo and Garnett are on pace to start for the Eastern Conference as fans vote for the five starters (two guards, two forwards, and one center).
Rondo is the team’s top vote-getter thus far at 929,781 votes, followed by Garnett (850,687), O’Neal (506,621), Allen (494,489), and Pierce (465,270).
Rajon Rondo’s picture graces the most recent SLAM Magazine cover. In a brief anecdote describing the cover story, Rondo was quoted discussing the Celtics’ tightness.
“I don’t think you have to have great camaraderie to win a championship but it helps a lot to get along. You don’t have to do these things but we go out to eat together, we go to the mall together, just little things we do off the court. Every different city we go places together. We play cards together, we don’t gamble though (again we both but out laughing after his gambling clarification. He says everything with sort of a deadpan delivery, so for a microsecond you’re not sure he’s joking but then he laughs so it’s obvious. I get the sense that Rondo is aware of his quiet rep and though it doesn’t bother him, he wants people to know that he can be funny when he wants to be), we just do fun things on the plane. We all understand each other and we come from similar backgrounds. Its like being with your brothers.”
A Ray of sunshine
Sebastian Pruiti examines the following play the Celtics ran to get Ray Allen an open look. (NBA Playbook)