Blog Entry

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

Posted on: June 25, 2009 4:43 pm
He’s been known as “the Big Diesel.”

He’s been called “Superman,” “Shaq-Daddy,” and most recently “the Big Shaqtus.”

Now that former Suns center Shaquille O’Neal has been officially traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, fans can add another nickname to his growing list of many:

"The Big Crutch."

Whether he chooses to acknowledges this or not, Shaquille O’Neal will be forever remembered as a great big man who can only win with the help of a bona-fides superstar.

Dating back to his early years with the Orlando Magic, Shaq has never won anything by himself. He won three rings with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles and another with Dwayne Wade in Miami.

Of course in today’s self-serving world of professional sports, Shaq won’t be remembered as the man who needed a superstar help him win a ring.

Shaq will be remembered as the man who helps superstars win rings.

Which brings us to an all-world superstar in LeBron James.

Yes LeBron James – the man who desperately needs a championship to solidify himself among the games’ greats. The man who has single-handedly carried a franchise on his shoulders in pursuit of NBA glory.

The man, who has never played with a comparable NBA star.

All that has seemingly changed with the arrival of the Big Aristotle.

Now LeBron is paired with Shaq, he will be expected to win an NBA title. There will be no more excuses, complaints, or long stories. James finally has that elusive big man that helped Dwayne Wade and Kobe Bryant win championships, so James should have no problem winning a ring of his own.

There’s just one problem: this isn’t the same Shaq.

“LA Shaq” is different from “Miami Shaq” who was slightly better than “Pheonix Shaq” who looks nothing like “LeBron’s Shaq.”

Shaquille O’Neal, who will turn 38 before next years’ playoff series, is exactly what he is – a 38-year-old NBA center. As great as he has been over the years, neither Cleveland or LeBron James should realistically expect a 38-year-old center to take them where they could not go before,

For James and the Cavaliers, Shaq’s arrival creates a two-sided dilemma.

If by some change a healthy and motivated Shaq does help LeBron James win a championship, he will immediately receive the Kobe Bryant treatment. Shaq will be forever associated with LeBron as the crutch James used to attain the greatness he could not achieve on his own.

There will be talk of LeBron “never winning the big one” by himself, which will tarnish his image and further talks of his inferiority to one Kobe Bryant.

If LeBron is not able to win a ring with Shaq, he will be viewed as the lone superstar who couldn’t get the job done with a hall of fame center in Shaquille O’Neal.

There will be talk of LeBron’s failing where others have succeeded, which will tarnish his image and further talks of his inferiority to one Kobe Bryant.

Regardless of how next season turns out, LeBron James will face criticism. Win or lose, James will forever be associated with Shaquille O’Neal, and his legacy will be forever tainted because of it.

By asking management to go after Shaq, LeBron has sealed his fate for the next few years.

An that in and of itself is a “Big Mistake”.


Since: Dec 6, 2008
Posted on: January 11, 2010 7:30 pm

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

You definately got a good head for the game.Having said that I think that people will over come the shaq thing with lebron just because shaq numbers are not nothing compared to what they were when he was in la.Plus not as many minutes.Lebron needs this and his other team mates need to be there for him.No matter who wins each year you cant do it alone.Kobe owes all his rings to how great  their team was when they won.No one man deserves credit for a championship and thats why they have the mvp award seperate from any ring or division title.They acknowledge the games best performer and everyone gets the ring.So when Lebron get his rings it soon or not he will definately be the mvp no matter what.But no one can do it with out a good team.

Since: Jun 28, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2009 2:02 am

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

As much as Shaq has always been the center of attention no matter what team he has been on ( and most likely he will not try to change that either ) this situation is slightly different. In orlando, it was defintely him over penny being the polarizing figure ( lil penny did give him a run for his money though) on that team. In LA, Shaq was an already established force in the league while kobe was still trying to find himself as a player. In miami,eventhough i believe dwade won that nba title for them, he remained softspoken and stayed beneath shaq's wing while they were teammates. And lets just forget about the phoenix tenure ( what a joke). 

The current situation shaq will be entering is one he's never entered before. Lebron IS face of the Cavs (if not all of the nba) when Shaq arrives. If Shaq really wants to be 1A he can, but will Lebron is 1. And considering that Lebron has proven he can win in the playoffs with just rather pedestration help ( mo williams and Z do not count). If Shaq can prove to be the true number 2 guy that almost any championship needs I dont understand how that would taint king james legacy. Mj - pippen, shaq-kobe, kobe - odom- gasol, dwade- shaq, pierce-allen- garnett, duncan- parker- ginobili, and that has just been recently. 

And if things dont work out in cleveland with shaq he can always move on the free agency. How old is Lebron? He's got plenty of time to establish his legacy even with this shirt tenure he will have with shaq. 

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2009 1:32 am

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

Really? Why? It would be helpful if you could describe why you can't root for the Cavs. They are only one of the most exciting teams to watch in the league... How exactly will Shaq taint Lebron's legacy? I would argue that he will not. Lebron is Lebron. He has been more or less carrying his team for the last two years. Yeah I understand that he's not always the best at the free throw line... but he is undoubtedly one of the best current NBA players and is en route to the NBA hall of fame. I am excited to see what the future has in store for Mr. James.  It's about time he has someone down low that he can dish it to and actually knows what to do with the ball. Next season should be both interesting and exciting.

Since: Jan 18, 2008
Posted on: June 27, 2009 10:55 pm

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

Good articles get people talking; good articles even get people arguing. Nice work cheeks.

Since: May 11, 2009
Posted on: June 27, 2009 3:38 pm

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

You'rea way off about Shaq. HE was the reason LA won three straight NBA Championships. And for proof of this let's get to the number, and not rely on conjecture. Shaq played in and staarted 79n gmaes during the regular season in the 1999-00 season. His numbers: FG% - 57%, PPG - 29.7, RPG - 13.7, APG - 3.8 BPg - 3.0. He was also voted MVP of the regular season and the Finals, as well, he was voted Second Team All Defense. He won the Finals MVP all three years (NOT KOBE!) that the Lakers won the Championship. He also has the highest scoring average of any center in NBA Finals history....

You must be about 15 to not remember how dominate Shaq was in his prime. He is one of the three best centers of all time. He's probably second only to Russell, and that is because Russell won 11 Chamionships and 5 MVPs. No player will ever match that...

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: June 27, 2009 1:55 pm

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

Shaq was the superstar not Kobe?  are you on drugs?  Shaq isn't even a GOOD basketball player,he's an immobile force in the middle and never has to hit a shot longer than 2 ft...can't hit a free throw to save his life, the only reason he gets any points is because he's so big noone can get him away from the net (60 percent shooting is easy from 2 feet), and yet he's gonna go to the hall based on trumped up stats  (sound familiar Phil Esposito?) He's an enourmous person and a horrible ball player and he will probably hurt and help equally at different times....hurt them from the line, and help them with lots of garbage points

Since: Aug 6, 2007
Posted on: June 26, 2009 11:48 pm

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

LeBron is pretty young to even bring up talk like "never winning the big one." Bringing in Shaq was the right move because it addressed the problem that the cavs had. I expect shaq will put up similar number to last year and be able to solidify the middle on defense. Howard will no long abuse this team and the magic better hope that turk stays and carter can make up for what howard won't be able to produce anymore against the cavs. No one has won an nba championship on their own. Lebron can't. He needs the inside to be sure and strong and he hasn't had that. He now has a point and center to compliment him. Even with the magic's new stud i pick the cavs to win the east

Since: Apr 30, 2009
Posted on: June 26, 2009 4:12 pm

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

get off the pipe, you said it yourself Shaq is not the same man and when he won in LA he was the superstar not Kobe. He knows his role on this team and he can only help Lebron not carry him the way he did for Kobe. If we as fans can see this for ourselves then what makes you think that this will taint Lebron. I wish Shaq the best of luck this season to win yet another ring.

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: June 26, 2009 3:44 pm

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

i can't pull for labron and the cav's to win now that he's there im sorry but i can't !!!!!

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2009 3:15 pm

Shaq Will Taint LeBron James' Legacy

By asking management to go after Shaq, LeBron has sealed his fate for the next few years. Not really. Both LeBron and Shaq are free agents after next year.

LeBron James is still young and he has plenty more years left in this league. His legacy is yet to be written and he'll have plenty of chances to write it.

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