Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Shaq in Green?
ESPN.com - Shaquille O'Neal has decided to join the Boston Celtics, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. He was expected to tell the team of his intentions Wednesday morning, but there had been no word as of the afternoon.
The length of the contract is not known, but O'Neal, who has been seeking a two-year deal, will play for the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million annually.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers began pursuing O'Neal last month when the two met in Orlando. Boston and the Atlanta Hawks were the two clubs most interested in O'Neal, and sources say O'Neal chose the Celtics because he believes they have a better chance of winning what would be his fifth NBA championship.
O'Neal, 38, averaged 12 points and 6.7 rebounds last season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the Cavs' six-game loss to Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals, he averaged 13.5 points and 5 rebounds in 23 minutes a game.
Although O'Neal is no longer the dominant force he was for most of his 18-year career, he will bolster a Celtics' front line that will be without injured starter Kendrick Perkins for the first few months of the season.
Earlier this summer, the Celtics added Jermaine O'Neal, signing the veteran center/power forward for the full mid-level exception of $5.7 million.
Comcast SportsNet-New England reported Tuesday that Shaquille O'Neal and the Celtics were close to agreeing to a deal. With Celtics general manager Danny Ainge out of town on vacation, an official news conference is expected to take place next week.
To be honest, I have always seen Shaquille O'Neal as a Laker. Even when he played for the Heat, the Suns, and the Cavs, he's always been a Laker. But when I heard rumors two months ago that Shaq could sign with the Celtics, I thought it would be great. The Celtics were one quarter away from winning the championship last season, and blew it in the 4th because they lacked height with Kendrick Perkins going down. Now Perk will be out until February at the earliest, and the Celtics would be without a big man. Now, the Celtics have a taller big man, and probably the most dominant center of this decade. Now, he may be old, but Shaq is still 7 feet tall and can out rebound anyone playing right now. But the question is, what happens when Perkins comes back? He's a young dominant center. I say, Perk starts and Shaq comes off the bench. I couldn't imagine a better bench player. If that works, and Shaq puts his ego aside, the Celtics will be the team to beat. Don't talk to me about Lebron, Bosh, and Wade. Let's talk about Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, and Shaq!! The Celtics will have the best starting five in the NBA, hands down!!. I cannot wait for Game 1, when Shaq steps up to center court for tip off wearing Celtic green. This is going to become very, very interesting.