I write about sports in Boston. Good stories are my currency. And I just got a little richer.
What a town. What a team.
It just never stops here in Boston. We had
And now Shaquille O'Neal is joining the Celtics. This is going to be great.
Nationally, a few folks are scratching their heads. Shaq is old, much-traveled, and failed to inspire anybody in recent stays in Phoenix and Cleveland. He is no longer a dominant force. He's not going to be able to play a lot of minutes. And he still can't make free throws.
But there is absolutely no downside to this move by
The Celtics didn't give up anyone to get Shaq, they're paying him the veterans' minimum and they don't need him to play 35 minutes a night.
The Celtics have been in need of big man help since
Perkins (a strong defender of the pick and roll) had surgery after the Finals and probably won't be much help until the All-Star break of the 2010-2011 season. In an effort to address the problem, Ainge signed
Bringing in a couple of O'Neals pretty much guarantees that the Celtics will have the oldest team in the history of basketball. Think about it:
All this veteran presence should bring out the best in Shaq. The danger of disruption is minimized by the presence of leaders like Garnett, Pierce and Allen. The Diesel respects those guys and it unlikely to play the Diva. He didn't seem to have any problem subjugating his ego in the presence of egomaniac
Shaq's floor game is not what it was, but he's still gigantic and he can still drop 20 points on your head if he gets enough touches. Shaq is the last of the classic big men who played with their backs to the basket.
He can set picks. He can rebound. He can help the Celtics plug the gap (along with Jermaine) until Perkins is ready to return.
We expect him to bring a positive attitude. It's clear he's not doing this for the money, which means he must be doing it for the ring.
That's a good thing if you are a Celtics fan.
Shaq isn't the first aging veteran to finish out his days on the parquet floor.
Walton got a ring out of it and will always consider himself a Celtic.
Shaq already has ties to Boston. He's the one who named Paul Pierce "The Truth.'' He appeared in
The Celtics have scheduled an introductory press conference for Shaq this week. It should be a doozy. Being a Boston sports fan just got a lot better. And working in the Boston sports media just became a little more fun.
I love this game.