The Boston Celtics added a new familiar face to their aging squad. His name is Shaquille O’Neal. O’Neal is one of the most endorsed athletes in the NBA and also in the sports world among many figures. He featured in movies, books, clothes, shoes, and even video games. He was just a guy you had to love and watch play. But this was happening a few years back. Once he got traded to the Phoenix Suns, things changed.
He wasn’t loved anymore. Other players were getting more endorsed like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, and several other more popular figures among the National Basketball Association. When it all went down and he was finished in his 2009-10 season, he was considered “old” and not needed anymore. Why? Even at 38 years old, people could still use a big body like his and he could really be needed.
Just ask the Celtics. They could have really used a big body when Kendrick Perkins was out in Game Seven of this year’s Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.. If there is anybody that could stop Andrew Bynum and/or Pau Gasol, it had to be the Big Diesel. Rasheed Wallace was good, but Shaq was badly needed as the Lakers were also dominating on the rebounds. If Shaq was there, Boston could have won that game.
“If we get to another Game 7 down the line, I’m sure we will be glad we have Shaq on the team,” Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said.
Signing Shaq gives Boston five 30-plus players who will all likely be Hall-of-Famers. Despite them aging, they are still stars and one of the most dominant faces of the league. It doesn’t matter what their age is, because when the game is on the line, they can really destroy you. And that is what they have in Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett. Adding to those two future-Hall-of-Famers are the signings of Jermaine O’Neal and, of course, Shaq. And Rajon Rondo gets the best of it, learning from great veterans that can help become a big figure like them in the future. This also counts towards Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Avery Bradley, and others.
“I am honored to be joining the Celtics,” Shaq said in a statement issued by the club. “I have played against Paul, Ray, Kevin, Rajon, and Jermaine 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.”
The Celtics haven’t won an NBA championship since the 2007-08 season, when the Big Three finally formed. O’Neal hasn’t won a championship since the 2005-06 season when he and Dwyane Wade made up a great combo together. O’Neal is looking to add a fifth ring to his fabulous career-resume, along with catching up with former-friend and now-arch-rival Kobe Bryant. O’Neal can still bring it and can really intimidate a lot of folks.
“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 in the statement. “His past experience speaks for itself and we believe that he is a great fit for our roster.”
The Celtics add a lot of help at the big man spots with power forward and center spot. They have two great players with the names of O’Neal and they also have Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis. Along with that, they have Kendrick Perkins returning soon. I don’t think it’s hard to say that the C’s can be title contenders still, even with the forming of the latest Miami Heat trio. Doc Rivers is already getting jumpstarted, after returning to coach after many questions surrounded he would retire. Oh boy would he miss out on something great like this.
“I am very excited,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “Adding a player like Shaq is a major plus and it fills a void for our team. He’s a real nice piece of the puzzle and he will complement us in where we want to go this coming season.”
Shaq is getting a lot of attention lately and many are excited for him to be in Boston. David “Big Papi” Ortiz loved that Shaq is here as he said, “Hey, Shaq is here,” in the batting cage when the Boston Red Sox took on the Cleveland Indians. It was very hard for Shaq to even get a contract after he demanded too much money.
He thought he would never play another NBA game again.
Luckily, he now has a number 36 jersey coming for him, bleeding green proudly.