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Category: Shaq

Shaquille O'Neal is officially a Boston Celtic

O'neal_300 As expected, the Boston Celtics announced the signing of free agent center Shaquille O'Neal on Wednesday.

"I am honored to be joining the Celtics," O'Neal said. "I have played against Paul [Pierce], Ray [Allen], Kevin [Garnett], Rajon [Rondo], and Jermaine [O'Neal] 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."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

O'Neal won three NBA titles with the Lakers and one with the Miami Heat and has also played for the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers.

O'Neal was named the league MVP as a member of the Lakers in 2000. He is the fifth-leading scorer in NBA history (28,255 points) and is 14th on the all-time rebounds list (12,921). He averaged 12 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots in 53 games during his only season with the Cavaliers last year.

"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. "His past experience speaks for itself and we believe that he is a great fit for our roster."

-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Shaquille O'Neal. Credit: Jacob Langston / MCT

Question of the day: Could Shaquille O’Neal make a difference for the Boston Celtics?

Shaq_300 Reporters from around the Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses, and feel free to leave a comment of your own.

[Updated at 1:15 p.m.:

Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times

Ah, even the most carefully-crafted plan can veer wildly off course.

After dinner last night, we were talking about Shaquille O’Neal and his expected deal with the Celtics. My friend and former Laker beat writer Tim Kawakami said O’Neal once told him that he planned on retiring when he was 30.

Well  … that went well.

At 38, the former Laker, Shaq, is poised to join the team most-hated by Laker fans. Bring on the Jolly Green Giant.

(Just think how painful this information might be had the Lakers LOST Game 7 to the Celtics.)

Either way, it does raise two questions: How much does Shaq have left to help the Celtics? Should this impact any future plans to retire his jersey with the Lakers when he does, eventually, retire from the game?

The second question, first.

No, this has nothing to do with what Shaq did in Los Angeles. He can change teams, change his name and his nicknames, and even change his number but it does nothing to detract from his impressive Laker resume. No need to purge his name and his three straight championships from the Laker media guide.

The other issue is more difficult. Frankly, the concept of Shaq always sounds better than the injury-riddled reality. It is a given he will get hurt and would be stunning if he played well over 50-plus games. Despite that, Boston is the best fit, by far, for O’Neal, much better than, say. Atlanta. Boston needs big men in a major way until Kendrick Perkins returns from knee surgery. And the strong personalities in the Celtic room can also temper and get the best and what is left from Shaq’s larger-than-life persona.

Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun Sentinel

Sure, at least during the period that Kendrick Perkins requires to recover from his offseason knee surgery, an absence that could linger into February.

Shaq remains an imposing presence and certainly had his moments last season with the Cavaliers.

But for the Celtics, it's not about the regular season. It certainly wasn't last season, when, after meandering through the first 82 games, they mounted a charge all the way to the NBA Finals.

So the greater issue becomes: What happens when Perkins and Jermaine O'Neal stand ahead of him in the rotation? An unhappy O'Neal is a very large problem to contend with.

Just ask Jerry Buss. Or Stan Van Gundy. Or Pat Riley. Or Terry Porter.

The perfect solution: Play him the first half of the season, then, when Perkins returns, move Shaq at the trading deadline, to his fourth team in three seasons. He has been reduced to, at this stage, The Big Journeyman.]

Continue reading »

Say hello to the Jolly Green Giant: Shaq to the Celtics?

Shaquille O'Neal will probably sign with the Boston Celtics tonight or Wednesday, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard.

Fabforum_187 and Comcast SportsNet New England indicated that the Celtics were "close" to signing the four-time NBA champion.

"For me, it's been a real thinking process," O'Neal told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I came into the league very graciously and want to go out very graciously. My main thought was I would like to play for a winning franchise, somebody that's used to winning, somebody that keeps winning. Hopefully, I'll make my decision here in the next one or two days."

The Celtics can offer only the veteran minimum salary ($1.35 million for a veteran of 10-plus NBA seasons), but Cleveland could facilitate a sign-and-trade with Boston if the 38-year-old center wants more money.

-- Houston Mitchell

Photo: Shaq. Credit: Evan Agostini, AP.

The 10 greatest L.A. Lakers of all time -- No. 9:
Shaquille O'Neal

Continuing our series of the 10 greatest L.A. Lakers of all time, as chosen by our readers.

No. 9: Shaquille O'Neal (no first-place votes, 21,926 points)

Fabforum O'Neal, one of the more polarizing figures in Lakers history, joined the team in 1996 as a free agent. O'Neal averaged 26.2 and 28.3 points in his first two seasons with the team, seasons that ended in playoff losses to the Utah Jazz.

Along came Kobe Bryant, beginning a tumultuous relationship that ended badly. But before the final breakup, the Lakers won three NBA titles with the Shaq-Kobe tandem leading the way. Shaq was named MVP of the NBA Finals all three times (2000-02) and won the NBA most valuable player award after the 1999-2000 season.

After the Lakers' loss to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals, O'Neal made comments indicating that he felt all team management cared about was making Bryant happy, to the detriment of the team. He demanded a trade and was sent to the Miami Heat on July 14, 2004, for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant and two draft picks, one of whom was used to select Jordan Farmar.

On the Lakers' career leaders list, O'Neal is second in field-goal percentage (57.5%), fifth in rebounds (6,090), second in blocked shots (1,278), seventh in points (13,895), second in points per game (27.0) and fifth in rebounds per game (11.8).

-- Houston Mitchell


No. 10: Jerry Buss

Photo: Shaquille O'Neal with the Lakers in 2001. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

Bubba Watson and Shaq are Twitter buds. Only one is a golfer.

University of Washington graduate Alex Prugh still has a two-shot lead after his 15th hole (on the SilverRock Resort Course) at the Bob Hope Classic. Joe Ogilvie (on the La Quinta Country Club course) has moved into sole possession of second, at 22-under-par and five-under after his 12 holes.

Bill Haas and Bubba Watson are third, three shots behind Prugh.

Watson has been entertaining all week, especially in explaining his fascination with Twitter. He has been campaigning to get himself invited to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and has had Twitter exchanges with Shaquille O'Neal. 

Watson said he's pretty sure O'Neal actually does know who he is too. "Does he know who I am? Probably," Watson said. "Because we have the same social media outlet person. We hired the same person. Plus my [Phoenix] season tickets are right next to the bench and last year Shaq walked right past me and asked how tall my wife was one day. And I was at the Suns charity golf tournament when he was there and I met him. So...probably he forgot me, but, you know."

Watson's wife, Angela (Ball) Watson, is 6-feet-4 and played on a University of Georgia team that went to the 1999 Final Four. She's also playing in the pro-am here with her four handicap.

-- Diane Pucin

No surprise -- Cleveland Browns want LeBron James

Lebron It's good to know that, once the Lakers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals next June, LeBron James will have another career to fall back on.

Cleveland Browns Coach Eric Mangini told reporters today he'd welcome James to the team if he ever decided to trade in his headband for a helmet.

"I think he should come on down," Mangini told the Associated Press.

Of course he thinks that -- have you seen how bad the Browns are?

Even quarterback-turned-cheap-shot artist Brady Quinn thinks it's a good idea. "If he wants to try to play a little bit now, we'd be more than willing to pick him up."

However, Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers isn't so convinced. As perhaps the only member of the team who actually knows something about football, Rogers has doubts about James adjusting to the game.

"I just don't think you can step off a basketball court after not going through this year in and year out and just play football," Rogers said. "From that standpoint, I don't think it's possible."

Maybe James could train by going on "Shaq Vs." and taking on Rogers and anyone else who doubts his gridiron abilities. Come on Shaq, it's time to start challenging football players via Twitter.

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: LeBron James flexes after drawing a foul against Golden State on Tuesday. Credit: Mark Duncan / Associated Press

Shaq's wife files for legal separation

Shaq It looks like Shaquille O'Neal is heading to divorce court.

O'Neal's wife, Va'Shaundya O'Neal, filed for legal separation in Los Angeles on Monday and intends to divorce the 15-time NBA all-star, citing irreconcilable differences. She is also seeking full custody of their children and spousal support. Their marriage lasted nearly seven years.

Maybe this explains why O'Neal has time to pursue a career in law enforcement even though he's acting as LeBron James' bodyguard until the summer.

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: Shaquille O'Neal. Credit: Aaron Josefczyk / Reuters

Shaquille O'Neal submits application to become a sheriff's deputy in Cleveland

Shaq It looks as if Shaquille O'Neal is no longer satisfied with just being LeBron James' bodyguard.

The world's tallest purveyor of law enforcement has submitted an application to become a special sheriff's deputy in Ohio.

Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office spokesman John O'Brien confirmed to the Associated Press that Shaq has submitted a formal request to become a special deputy.

If approved, Shaq would have the right to make arrests and carry a weapon even though he wouldn't be a paid employee. First, though, he would need 36 hours of police training and to pass a police exam.

Of course, this isn't Shaq's first foray into the world of law enforcement. He's worked in similar roles for other local agencies in the past.

I wonder if Shaq has a plan for detaining the Lakers' hopes of a second consecutive NBA title?

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: Shaquille O'Neal is sworn in as a reserve police officer with the Miami Beach Police Department in 2005. Credit: Miami Beach Police Department

LeBron James to star in upcoming movie

Shaquille O'Neal isn't the only movie star on the Cleveland Cavaliers roster.

LeBron James, who's seen plenty of camera time making commercials and as a "Saturday Night Live" host, will appear in the upcoming Universal Pictures production "Fantasy Basketball Camp," according to Variety. The movie is a comedy about a group of guys who attend James' basketball camp in Las Vegas. How can that not be funny?

But James isn't all about getting laughs. Check out this story on his upcoming memoir and related documentary.

No word on whether James gets dunked on by one of the campers (check out the dunk at the 34-second mark).

-- Austin Knoblauch

Shaq hits beach, takes on May-Treanor and Walsh

Shaq_240 Shaquille O’Neal is taking cross-training to a new level.

He’s starring in a new reality show on ABC, called “Shaq vs.,” where he battles other superstar athletes at their sports. He’ll take on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, retired boxer Oscar De La Hoya, swimmer Michael Phelps and Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols.

He’ll start Sunday, when he’ll play pro beach volleyball players and two-time Olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. He’ll play with Olympic gold medalist Todd Rogers, and Rogers’ partner Phil Dalhausser will coach.

“I just now added Hermosa Beach sand to my salad. I eat sand,” O’Neal said during a news conference with May-Treanor and Walsh.

Their banter was light-hearted, yet Shaq is taking this seriously. He believes he has what it takes to win the challenge – and he better, because if he loses, he has to walk two miles in a pink Speedo.

“Three sizes too small,” he said.

Continue reading »

David Beckham laughs off Shaq's challenge

Soccer royalty David Beckham figures Kobe vs. Shaq in soccer would be more fair than the English midfielder taking on the Cavaliers' center in a shootout.

The Big Challenger has been calling out athletes across the globe for some one-on-one competition, primarily through his Twitter account, and has been prodding Beckham to appear on his reality TV show.

Mike Dunsmore, of Dunsmore Productions L.L.C., caught up with Beckham on Saturday night following the Galaxy's 2-1 loss to FC Barcelona.


-- Dan Loumena


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