Blog Entry

Doc gave Shaq the hard truth before signing him

Posted on: August 16, 2010 11:12 am
Edited on: August 16, 2010 11:48 am
Doc tells the big man some hard truths before bringing the MDE on board.
Posted by Matt Moore

When the Celtics signed Shaquille O'Neal, questions were rampant about how this was going to work. O'Neal has remained adamant throughout his career's downward slope that he's still capable of his former glory. It was pretty normal for people to start wondering exactly how this was going to work, and if Shaq was going to start making noise about his overly exaggerated role on the C's.

Well apparently, Doc Rivers nipped that in the bud.

The Boston Globe reports that before Shaq signed with Boston, O'Neal visited Doc Rivers' home for a little talk. And there, Rivers lowered the boom . Via the Globe:

"He told O’Neal he may not start. He told O’Neal his skills had declined, so touches won’t be a priority. He told O’Neal he was a liability on pick-and-roll defense. O’Neal sat there with a blank expression, and Rivers thought there was no chance of a deal getting done."

It must be nice to be Doc Rivers. Championship ring. Lots of dough. And the ability to tell the Most Dominant Ever that he probably won't be getting his name called in the introductions and that he sucks at pick and roll defense. I wouldn't tell him that. He'd eat me.

Of course, if I'm being a skeptical, cold-hearted son of a gun (and I am), I'd point out that saying you're totally fine with something in preseason is one thing. Keeping your mouth kept during a losing streak in which you don't feel you're playing enough is a different matter. And O'Neal knows he brings more offense and total size than either Kendrick Perkins or Jermaine O'Neal. But so far, it looks like the O'Neal has honestly bought into "the Celtic way."

Since: Jul 12, 2010
Posted on: August 16, 2010 1:33 pm

Doc gave Shaq the hard truth before signing him

Talk about a Kodak moment. I would love to have a snap shot of Shaq's face when Doc told him that his skills are declining and he is a liability on defense. Shaq is so used to everyone kissing his butt all these years and telling him how great he is. Not only did he endure Doc's criticism, but he also took a huge pay cut from what he though he should get. Shaq is a very proud guy but he really had to swallow his pride this off-season. Maybe this will be motivation for him to get into shape and try to prove everyone wrong. Kudos to Doc Rivers for "keeping it real."

Since: Aug 12, 2010
Posted on: August 16, 2010 12:55 pm

Doc gave Shaq the hard truth before signing him

Intestinal fortitude in running a team goes a long way.  This is a perfect example of why the Celtics have had a better opportunity in the playoffs the last 3 years in the Eastern Conference than any other team.  The managerial staff has the fortitude to install a system and attitude without kissing these prima donna's butts.  The man is slow and lazy.  The only time he runs back on defense is on a made bucket.  The Cavs would have been better off starting Hickson and Varajeao during the course of the year for their athleticism and hustle rather than Shaq and any other combo.   

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