Tag:Shaquille O'Neal
Posted on: August 31, 2010 1:15 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 1:19 pm

Watching Shaq be Shaq is some kind of great

Posted by Royce Young

It didn't take a brilliant TV executive to figure out putting Shaquille O'Neal on televison in a reality show setting was a good idea. And once Shaq Versus runs its course, surely there has to be another avenue for the world to get a peek into Shaq's dynamite personality. The Boston Globe gave us one, as the paper followed Shaq around for a day as he helped promote the UFC's event in Boston that was last Saturday.

Included in the video is Shaq signing autographs, taking pictures, visiting Harvard and wrestling a 13-year-old kid. Yes, seriously. He wrestled a little kid.

ESPN's Dana Jacobson talked with the kid, Matt Weisman, about grappling with Kazaam himself. Weisman said it wasn't a planned event to have Shaw wrestle someone, but it was just a little eye contact and before he knew it, Weisman was on stage facing the seven-footer.

Shaq is one of those larger than life personalities that is always good for the game even if he's just a shell of his former self. Having him make appearances, sign autographs, do interviews and wrestle childen is something I hope to see the big guy do for a long time.
Category: NBA
Posted on: August 30, 2010 2:24 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2010 8:08 pm

NBA Pop Quiz: What can Shaq contribute?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question..

What can Shaq contribute to the Celtics?

We're going to make it through the rest of this entire blog post without using a single nickname. We're going to do it. It's going to be hard, but I believe if we stick together, we can make this happen. If you're ready, we'll begin.

Shaquille O'Neal is ten years past his prime. I'm not exaggerating, either. That's not a figure of speech. His prime was literally the 1999-2000 season, meaning he's coming up on the anniversary of the season after his prime. In '99-'00 he averaged 29.7 points per game, 13.6 rebounds per game, with 3.8 assists and 3.0 blocks while averaging 40 minutes a game. He shot 57.4% from the field. He had a 30.6 PER that season, good for 6th among centers playing at least 30 minutes per game, all-time. O'Neal will never be considered in the same hallowed breath as Wilt Chamberlain, but it's close, and that season he was.

He really was the most dominant player in the NBA. But as I said, that was over ten years ago. What did O'Neal contribute last year? First, it's important not to look at it from a per-game standpoint. His position with the Celtics isn't based on what he can give them game to game, it's based on what he can give them minute to minute. And his per-minute numbers were great. If we project 20 minutes for O'Neal while Kendrick Perkins recovers from knee surgery, splitting time with Jermaine O'Neal, and we look at how he did with those minutes last season we get the following: 10.3 points per 20 minutes, 5.7 rebounds with 1 block. That's a pretty good night for a guy his age. 10 points, 6 boards, with a block. That's what you want out of a part-time veteran center. Consider Zydrunas Ilgauskas, three years younger than O'Neal and a part-time center for the Miami Triad, who averaged only 7.1 and 5.2 rebounds last season for the same Cavs team per 20 minutes.

The biggest concern is that with O'Neal's size, he should be able to produce higher rebounding numbers. And for the Celtics, he'll have to. The Celtics were a paltry 13th in Defensive Rebounding Rate (percentage of all defensive rebounds available that were snagged) last season, and with Perkins down and Kevin Garnett another year older, they'll need even more from O'Neal in that area. His size should give him the ability to contribute more in the rebounds area and less in the points section. But that means sacrifice, which leads us to the biggest question mark about what O'Neal brings to the Celtics.

O'Neal has said absolutely everything you'd want to hear from him this summer. He talks about knowing his role, about not getting caught up in ego, and buying into the whole Celtics mythos built around team play and sacrifice. Execution is the tough part. It won't be difficult in the beginning, when everyone's settling in. But if O'Neal is playing well, scoring points but not collecting rebounds, and the team struggles in the win-loss column beneath their reasonably high expectations, O'Neal is more likely to start grumbling about getting the ball more. After all, if he's scoring, that's a good thing, right? But the issue is that O'Neal can't be considered the go-to, simply because he can't put in 30 to 40 minutes a night. The rest of the offense needs to stay in sync and not be bogged down trying to facilitate the guy playing 15 to 20. The Celtics have scorers. They need to maintain their defense and improve their rebounding, and they need to do it within both the tactical and emotional parameters they've already developed.

But unlike other emotionally volatile players the Celtics could have turned to, O'Neal does have one good aspect of his very large personality. He's a known quantity. Even if he doesn't follow through with the humble subjugation of his game for the good of the contender, you know what you're getting with O'Neal. He's going to miss a certain amount of games, he's going to look like dynamite for several games, and he's going to bring the attitude the Celtics want. They need to be arrogant, confident; the team that knows that it's a step above the teams in front of them. They thrive on that attitude, it helps fuel their game. And that's why in the end, signing Shaquille O'Neal wasn't that much of a risk. He's at once an antithesis and just what the doctor ordered. Now they just have to see how medicine goes down.

For more on the Big Shamrock (dang it!), follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNBA

Posted on: August 16, 2010 11:12 am
Edited on: August 16, 2010 11:48 am

Doc gave Shaq the hard truth before signing him

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."
Posted on: August 9, 2010 1:43 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 4:18 pm

Shaq will retire with the Celtics

"" Posted by Royce Young

The last stop in Shaqulle O'Neal's historic career will be in Boston. He told the Orlando Sentinel he has no plans to be a 40-year-old plus professional athlete, even joking “Brett Favre only plays 12 games.”

The Celtics are franchise number six for Shaq. He's spent 18 seasons in the NBA and is currently 38 years old, which makes him the oldest active player in the league. He signed a two-year contract with the Celtics.

Shaq made a countdown a few years back while he was in Phoenix counting down to his last days. When he finishes he'll have played 20 seasons in the NBA, which will still put him behind Robert Parish who holds the record with 21 seasons and 1,611 games. If Shaq plays in all 82 for the next two years (which is probably impossible), he'll finish with 1,334.

Currently, Shaq sits about 10,000 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time points record and about 3,000 behind Wilt Chamberlain for fourth place. If Shaq were to catch Chamberlain, he'd have to average about 17.5 points per game and play in all 82 games the next two seasons.

Shaq should pass Jerry Lucas and Buck Williams for 13th and 12th place and possibly Hakeem Olajuwon and Wes Unseld for 11th and 10th place in all-time rebounds however. Right now, Shaq has 12,921 rebounds, 21 behind Lucas, 96 behind Williams, 827 behind Olajuwon and 848 behind Unseld. Shaq would need to average 5.2 rebounds a game over the next 164 games to catch Unseld for 10th.

Shaq has been hunting for that one last hurrah the past few years. He knows his limitations and is looking to just find a spot on a roster. He played a role in Cleveland last season fairly well and he says he's willing to do the same in Boston.

“I’m not coming in to take over,” O’Neal told the paper after an Orlando charity basketball game. “At this point in my career I’m just a role player and I’ll do whatever it takes [to win].”
Posted on: August 9, 2010 8:42 am

Shootaround 8.9.10: Heat to pass 72?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Jeff Van Gundy says the Heat will be historically great : "They will break the single-season win record [of 72],'' Van Gundy told the Miami Herald. "And I think they have a legit shot at the Lakers' 33-game [winning] streak [in 1971-72], as well. And only the Lakers have even a remote shot at beating them in a playoff series ... They will never lose two games in a row this year. They have put together a much better roster than anybody could ever have expected. There is now no good way to defend them. They are unguardable. They are indefensible. They are just too good and have added so much shooting and are so versatile that they will score at will. And with  Erik Spoelstra coaching, they will be in the top three defensive teams in the league, as well. The other 29 teams better hope the lockout gets moved up a year.''
  • Where do the two O'Neal's fit together in Boston? Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston weighs in: "However, I actually see potential in an O'Neal-O'Neal frontcourt. Celtics GM Danny Ainge noted that he was eager to utilize Jermaine O'Neal at the 4 this season, and high-mileage legs aside, I don't see why it can't work against another team's second unit. It's not like they're going to spend 20 minutes together on the court per game, so if you need to lean on that pairing for a sequence or two each game, I don't see a problem."
  • David Aldridge of NBA.com also reports the Pistons are actively discussing McGrady but aren't close to a decision either way. Aldridge also says the Pistons are expected to try and move Prince before the start of the season, thus making room for McGrady.
  • Multiple people have mentioned this, but it's a good question: How does the Knicks consulting job work for Isiah Thomas? With his relationship to the Knicks, wouldn't him coaching at Florida International mean he's having improper contact with underclassmen?
  • Frank Isola of the NY Daily News says Donnie Walsh should walk away : "Walsh is too respected by his peers to take orders from Dolan via Thomas. We know Walsh has no use for Thomas and therefore can't work with him or more precisely work for him. Full autonomy? Please. Thomas is calling the shots now. There is too much distrust and bad blood already for this to be anything less than a terrible marriage. The fact that Dolan can't see that Walsh has done a solid job tells you all you need to know. This is the same guy who blames the media coverage for nine straight losing seasons. So quit, Donnie. Resign. Walk away. You've already said you'll stick it out because you're a class act. But you deserve better."
  • Joakim Noah and the Bulls are talking extension : "Of course that's the goal," he told ESPNChicago.com after a charity event for his Noah's Arc Foundation in Queens on Friday night. "I'm not really worried about it. I think everything's going to happen with time and at the end of the day, I'm really excited about the upcoming season."
  • Robert Parish loves Boston's move for Shaq: “Shaq can still start for at least 15 teams, maybe 20 teams,’’ Parish told the Boston Globe. “I would say that time has caught up with him but he can still be a factor and not to mention defensively. He’s long and has a lot of mass and is going to take up a lot of room and that definitely is where the Celtics’ strong suit is, defensively. I think that’s where he gets it done. I think Shaq will definitely bring a defensive presence along with Garnett. He’s going to cause a lot of havoc defensively and he still can get it done offensively.’’
Posted on: August 6, 2010 11:11 am
Edited on: August 6, 2010 11:12 am

Why Shaq didn't go to Atlanta

Posted by Royce Young

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Michael Cunnigham has the reason Shaquille O'Neal ended up in Boston rather than Atlanta:
I’ve been told that Atlanta wouldn’t budge on giving Shaq a starting nod over Al [Horford] , who is after all still only 24-years old and an All-Star. Shaq believes he will get the starting nod over Jermaine O'Neal in Boston as Kendrick Perkins rehabs from his knee injury.

Atlanta also wasn’t willing to pay Shaq more than the minimum and that was a sticking point for him. He didn’t want to sign for the minimum when the Hawks had their bi-annual and mid-level exceptions available because of the perception that would create–as in the Hawks could have paid him more but didn’t. That’s not the case with Boston, which had neither of those exceptions and so could only give him the minimum. The big guy still has his pride.

Shaq made all the sense in the world for Atlanta because the Hawks want big man depth are still in the market for one. As Cunningham says, some potential players the Hawks are considering now include veterans Francisco Elson, Brian Skinner and Josh Boone. Kwame Brown has also been mentioned but common thinking is Brown wants more than the veteran minimum.
Category: NBA
Posted on: August 6, 2010 8:27 am

Shootaround 8.6.10: Mason signs with NY

Posted by Royce Young
  • Tom Haberstroh for ESPN.com making a case that Carmelo Anthony is not a max player: "If the New York Knicks, rumored to be the favorites to land Melo if he decides to leave Denver, are expecting salvation from Anthony next summer, they're going to be very disappointed with their investment. It would be a much a wiser move to throw that cash toward the pursuit of Chris Paul, a real max player."
  • Ziller of NBA FanHouse has a set as well and the US comes in No. 2 : "That the United States is the overwhelming Vegas favorites at the Worlds is a sign the betting public has no short- or long-term memory. Hasn't Team USA already proven chemistry can't be conjured in two months? Remember, the first travails of the Redeem Team ended up defeat (and some would say humiliation): in 2006, when LeBron James , Dwyane Wade , Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant first got together, Greece knocked them out of contention in the semifinals of the World Championship."
  • Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook does a pretty outstanding job of breaking down a fast break: "In my opinion, a good outlet pass is the key to a fast break.  If the rebounder can get the ball out to the point guard on the run, you got the makings of a fast break because the point guard doesn’t have to slow down to make the catch and he can put pressure on the defense.  A bad outlet pass can force a point guard to break his momentum to make the catch, and that allows the defense to get back on defense."
  • Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game with a look at positional classification : "To those still clinging to what they know, I’d ask this: what’s a power forward? What characteristics link Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Rashard Lewis, Lamar Odom, Reggie Evans, Tyrus Thomas, and J.J. Hickson? Not rebounding. Not scoring. Not skill set. Not height relative to their teammates. Not even the spaces they occupy on the floor. I’m at a total loss as to the criterion that would group that bunch together, which makes the assessment “Player X isn’t a real power forward” pretty much worthless. I think I know what it means, but without the ability to define the contemporary power forward, how could I really know for sure?"
  • Shaq might be making just the veteran minimum but don't feel sorry for him too long. Last year, he generated $15 million in endorsements and experts say he should make more in Boston: “Shaq is a marketing giant,” said John Vrooman, a sports economist at Vanderbilt University. “He will benefit from the Hub’s strong media presence, where there’s money to be made on local endorsements.”
Posted on: August 5, 2010 3:43 pm

Free Agency Layup Line: Shaq, Weaver, Law

Posted by Royce Young

A couple quick hits to make sure everyone is up to speed on free agency:
  • Shaq has officially signed a two-year deal with the Celtics. Danny Ainge said in a statement: “It is not every day that you can add a player of Shaquille’s caliber to your team ... I remember in 1985, we signed Bill Walton, and his addition put us over the top. We feel that with the addition of Shaq, we’ll have one of the best front lines in the league, and, when Kendrick Perkins returns, the deepest. Shaq has made it clear that he would do whatever it takes to help the team raise Banner 18, and we look forward to working towards that goal together.’’
  • The Grizzlies are reportedly about to sign guard Acie Law. GM Chris Wallace said Wednesday the team intends to sign him. Law worked out for the Grizzlies earlier this week and evidently impressed. He'll be brought in to help in the backcourt with Mike Conley and rookie Greivis Vasquez. HoopsWorld reports it's a one-year deal.
  • Brian T. Smith of The Columbian reports the Blazers are still exploring options for possibly moving Fernandez. He says wide variety of deals are being considered, but nothing is pending. The Knicks were a candidate but if they are close to signing Roger Mason Jr., Fernandez would likely be headed somewhere else.
  • Larry Johnson - yes, Grandmama himself - is interested in joining Chicago's coaching staff. Johnson has a history with new Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau as he played for the New York Knicks from 1996-2001, while Thibodeau was on the coaching staff working under Jeff Van Gundy.
  • The Suns have signed sharpshooting summer leaguer Matt Janning to a two-year, minimum salary contract. A Northeastern product, Janning is a combo guard and at 6-5, should be able to to play multiple positions. "With his great feel for the game and his size, he can play two positions and come off screens and shoot and dump to screeners," said Suns Director of Player Personell Todd Quinter to AZCentral.com.
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