Thursday, August 5, 2010

Travelin' Man

Usually, this resume for teams a basketball player has belonged to goes to what they call "Journeymen"... players like Matt Barnes, Kevin Ollie, Raja Bell, and even Ron Artest. Guys who have been on so many teams, it's hard to know who originally drafted them. You wouldn't think that a superstar like Shaquille O'Neal would be in this bunch because he's way too talented and has four championship rings. He's not some guy a team calls up when they need a space filled or is that what he's become? Yesterday, Shaq signed with (I believe) his sixth NBA team.

He was drafted by the Orlando Magic. Does anybody remember that? Of course, then there was his glory days with the Los Angeles Lakers. He and Kobe Bryant created "The Lake Show" and won three championships together at the beginning of the last decade. Then, there was his stint with the Miami Heat and one last championship. Next up, was a short and unsuccessful stay with the Phoenix Suns... and then, what looked like a championship run with the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, was just not to be. We all know what happened there, so I won't elaborate on it any further.

Yesterday, the Eastern Conference Champions, The Boston Celtics, signed 7' 1", 325 lb. Shaquille O'Neal on Wednesday, adding the 15-time All-Star to a team needing his size with Center Kendrick Perkins, who is recovering from knee surgery that could sideline him until February. The deal with the free agent center is for two years and about $3 million, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said, on the condition of anonymity because no details were released. O'Neal joins the other three big names, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, on a team that went to the seventh game of the NBA finals before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. Since then, Boston signed center-forward Jermaine O'Neal.

Point guard Rajon Rondo will also be coming off an outstanding post season. "I am honored to be joining the Celtics," Shaq said in a statement issued by the club. "I have played against Paul, Ray, Kevin, Rajon, and Jermaine for many years and it will be great to be able to call them my teammates. I cannot wait to get to Boston to get started in pursuit of another championship."

The Celtics won their NBA-high 17th championship in 2008. Shaq has won four NBA titles. "It is not every day that you can add a player of Shaquille's caliber to your team," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said in the statement. "His past experience speaks for itself and we believe that he is a great fit for our roster."

After the season, the Celtics re-signed Paul Pierce for four seasons, Ray Allen for two, and Jermaine O'Neal for two. Kevin Garnett also has two years left on his deal. Shaq, the top pick in the 1992 draft by Orlando, (Remember that? I'm betting you didn't.) averaged 12.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 53 games for Cleveland last season. He is the fifth leading scorer in NBA history with 28,255 career points and is 14th in rebounds with 12,921. He has averaged 24.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game.

I wonder if the owner of the Cleveland Cavs is planning to write a scathing indictment of Shaq, now that he has jumped ship, the way he did Lebron James, who did the same thing. He used his option as a "free agent" to sign with another team? I wonder what the difference is? Hmmmm!


12kyle said...

Shaq is loved by the media. He ain't gonna catch no flack for it. I ain't mad at him for chasing a ring.

But I really can't see him in that puke green. LOL

Mizrepresent said...

I thought Shaq was coming to the A, for what reason i didn't know...but oh well, wish him well in Boston, just seems like he needs to be polishing up his speaking skills and try to get one of those commentator jobs...just saying.


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