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Wednesday, March 11th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  72 responses

Shaq, Planning Escape from Phoenix?

by Marcel Mutoni

With his team going nowhere fast, it wouldn’t exactly come as a shocker to find out that Shaquille O’Neal is looking to get the hell out of Dogde Phoenix.

The LA Times ran a story yesterday discussing the possibility of the Cavs and Suns revisiting their trade talks from last month following this season.

As for Shaq, he wasn’t in a talking mood when reporters broached the subject. From the Arizona Republic:

The Los Angeles Times reported that center Shaquille O’Neal “is saying privately he wants out” of Phoenix because the Suns pondered trading him last month and/or because they returned to their up-tempo offense. He declined comment Monday morning.

“That’s intangible stuff,” guard Steve Nash said. “It’s hard to quantify. I hope he’s not unhappy. We just want him to be happy, feeling good about himself and ready to play.”

With Phoenix owner Robert Sarver swimming in dangerous financial waters, and O’Neal on the hook for another $20 million after this year, you can be sure that this kind of chatter will only increase going into the 2009-’10 season.

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  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    I thought he said he was “rejuvenated” in Phoenix. Dude’s never happy these days.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    It’s awesome that Nash is worried about Shaq’s self-esteem. “He’s a 48-time All-Star and sure-fire first-ballot HOFer with 4 rings. I hope he’s not bummed about playing out his career on a mediocre team in a city with 80-degree winters.”

  • Ken

    And the best medical staff in the NBA too.

  • Jumpman3224

    He just wants out because they don’t want him as a sheriff deputy in PHX

  • Toml11

    He’s gonna jump ship again. Abandoning yet another bad team. Then burn bridges along the way, just like he did for his previous teams. I swear a year down the road, there will be reports of discontent on this Suns team with Shaq on his comments, attitude and many other things.

  • Declan

    Seems like he’s only happy when he’s unhappy.

  • http://www.slamonline.comi Jake Appleman

    He seems happy to me. Nash is a great guy, looking out for a BB like that. Man, Canadians and their character. Give both of them credit for not creating a PR mountain sandstorm out what appears to be a mo Hill.

  • Diogo

    And winning 20mil per season.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    Ryan said it all.

  • Tuomas

    If the heavens opened up and Shaq somehow ended up with the Clippers, it would be beyond awesome.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    It is funny how a rumor from unnamed sources gets so much face time like it is truth or fact.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    gotta love the speculation that he wants to leave but so far no direct quotes from the big press transcript. Until he ever throws a team he currently plays for under the bus publicly, he gets benefit of the doubt on this subject from me. News in the 21st century: publish rumours without any verification, then hope the accused makes a fuss, thus underlining the claim. L’uvly

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    in other words: cosign TAD

  • Tuomas

    What I said doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with this particular story being pulled out of someone’s a** or not.

  • http://allanzuss@yahoo.com Mendel

    Ryan does not listen. Shaqovich said that hes is going to trade the warm winters and 20 mil for some Bill Russell like ring collection in cold windy small market Clevland, Ohio, who is going to sherrif that bench for many more years to come.

  • Young Chris MP3

    Lakers should trade Bynum and Odom for Shaq this summer. and itLs no secret that I love The Diesel, but this is far from surprising. has there ever been another as obsessed with his legacy as his career winds down? Besides, Shaq on the Cavs or Lakers pretty much guarantees another championship or two for him to brag about.

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    Where’s Dogde?

  • The Kandi Raver

    Chris MP3 I agree big time with you. Bynum is injury-prone and powell can take care of odams spot on the bench. That would be cool if Shaq ended his playing days on the lakers and a ring

  • Sebastian B. O. Bunionstow, esq.

    Wither Shaqus?

  • Jumpman3224

    Chris MP3 and Kandi: As a life long Lakers fan, part of me would love to see Shaq put the purple and gold back on. But…Odom is a Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of the year. So they would have to sign him just to trade him. Bynum seems to be a bit injury prone, but at least four years from now he will still be in the Leauge and contributing. Plus, no matter what KB24 says after Shaq’s infamous MCing last summer I doubt he would sign off on bringing back the Big Fella

  • Diesel

    I hope wherever he goes, that team loses because shaq is a whiney b*tch…wasn’t being a front runner the same reason he was making fun of Van Gundy? If anyone leaves when things get tough, its Shaq. See every team he’s ever been on for a reference.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    low self esteem. He puts others down. He wants it all, but all doesnt want him. No chance at a ring, while he isnt getting any better or younger is just making it a easier choice to bail out.

  • BostonBaller

    Here we go again….chopping down the Shaqtus. He took the Magic to the Finals then left to a better situation (smart business) He helped the L?akers win rings and they traded him (Business not abandonment by him) He helped Miami get a ring and then went to PHX (again business). Think of how boring the L would have been w/out Shaq and his flair. lol.

  • L33tSauce

    Thankfully I don’t have to worry about the cry baby coming to Miami. He burned that bridge. he won’t go to LA because Kobe DOES NOT want him back. Is it worth bringing in a 37 year old shell of Shaq only to upset you MVP? You Lakers fans suprise me. And to those who say Kobe would take Shaq back, look at interviews from all-star weekend. It isn’t happening.

  • chill

    I really hope Kobe and the Lakers win a championship, and Shaq fades away into obscurity. Then everyone will be talking about how Shaq couldn’t win the big one without Kobe, instead of vice-versa (’cause let’s be honest, Shaq rode on Dwade’s back the whole way to that championship in ’06)

  • Tommy Patron

    Dodge is Dodge City, Kansas.

  • Vince

    The Suns made their bed when they shopped Shaq right before the trade deadline, so I don’t blame Shaq one bit for being upset. BTW why would Shaq have a problem running the ball? That would be like Kareem being upset with Pat Riley for running the ball during the Showtime Era.

    Last but not least; smart money is on Kobe NOT winning a ring with the Lakers as the lead dog during the Post Shaq Era…Unless Kobe wakes up and starts pounding the ball in to Gasol aka the real Lakers MVP.

  • Cizzo

    Eff Shaq but I Like him though!

  • Young Chris MP3

    The only time Shaq has ever signed with a team other than the one he was on when signing was when he left Disney World for Hollywood. He resigned with the Lakers and then resigned with the Heat. Maybe there’s more to this “Shaq as a GM” than I think. Who knows?

  • Young Chris MP3

    If the Lakers lose this year and Shaq is available, is there anyway that Kobe DOESN’T approve? It won’t be as if Shaq is the main option. Kobe will be THE guy on the team, and any success Shaq will likely credit to Kobe. And isn’t that all Kobe wants?

  • http://www.kicksonfire.com Anton

    If he won a ring with the Cavs it would be the world’s biggest ego booster. Then he can literally say LeBron, Kobe, and Dwyane couldn’t do it without me.

  • BostonBaller

    Hey chill…chill. I understand not liking Shaq but riding on DWade’s back to a championship? Everyone knows Wade was The Man but w/out Shaq it would have been a helluva lot harder for Wade to cruise down the lane to the hoop. As the 2nd and sometimes 3rd scoring option Shaq still contributed numbers wise. His sheer presence was a key contributing factor especially on defense.

  • BostonBaller

    Shaq’s numbers during that championship
    Pts Rbs & Assts
    Game 1: 17, 5, 5
    Game 2: 5, 6, 2
    Game 3: 16, 11 5
    Game 4: 17, 13, 3
    Game 5: 18, 12, 1
    Game 6: 9, 12, 1

    Those are not phenomenal numbers but those numbers do NOT say “being carried to a championship” either. Did Zo, Posey or GP catch a ride too? It was what it was and Shaq was instrumental in that championship. Like him or not just admit the truth. How many championship caliber teams would take him right now to give them a better chance at the chip this year? Be honest….lol

  • Jumpman3224

    L33TSauce: True that!

  • The Speakez

    The Big Moody!

  • nbk

    Ryan 80 degree winter? HaHa yeah right

  • Young Chris MP3

    BostonBaller, don’t even respond. If it wasn’t for Shaq, Miami wouldn’t have got past Chicago OR Detroit and D-Wade would never have been able to do what he did in the Finals.

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  • http://nba.com/rockets Witness

    Can you dig it?!

  • Diesel

    Boston, I think the difference between Shaq and Payton and those guys is that they’re not going around saying that the Heat won the championship based on what they did. Payton knows he was a role player, Shaq thinks he was the star. How the hell do you gaurentee a city a championship, put up an average of 13 points and 9 rebounds, and then act like it was all because of you. 13 points and 9 rebounds!!! Any idiot center in the league could have given the Heat that.

  • BostonBaller

    co-sign YCMP3

  • BostonBaller

    Diesel my man, Shaq has repeatedly given Flash the credit and he guaranteed a championship b/c he knew he would be a vital part in it. As far as any idiot center giving them what shaq did is plain idiotic. lol. Switch Shaq w/ Dallas’ center that year and they fold in round 1. You guys are killing….

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Actually, Dampier put up better numbers than Shaq in the Finals.
    But, I agree that Shaq wasn’t just along for the ride. He was the second option. But, he was the second option like Big Z used to be the second option in Cleveland, not the way Scottie or Kobe were the second option.

  • JESSEG

    Let’s not forget Shaq would not have won a championship in Miami if it weren’t for the refs letting Wade shoot 40 free throws a game. I’m not fan of either team, but let’s be honest…. that was a joke.

  • http://trulyhoops.blogspot.com Collin

    i think the jabbawokeez should trade one of their members for shaq. then shaq would probably make them change their name to the Shaqowokeez.

  • http://www.basketballjerseyworld.com NBA-JERSEY-KING

    Shaq would be ideal in San Antonio – Duncan stays at PF, best front court in the league. All veterans around Shaq to keep him in line…. CHAMPIONSHIP

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    In all fairness, no one really predicted the fall-off this PHX team would have this season. In a perfect world, the Suns would have transitioned from a run-n-gun offense to a team-heavy balanced approach. Terry Porter would have led from the bench and players like Goran Dragic would have learnt ALOT faster. Lopez hasn’t been as good as advertised and (unfortunately) Nash hasn’t looked into it. This team missed D’Antoni and The Matrix more than I could have fathomed this season. Add to that, Amar’e going down right when it has been time to sink or swim and you can just see the dismay on most peoples faces, fans or otherwise. It really comes down to the fact that you wouldn’t call Phoenix a “lottery-team” but here we are….
    most upsetting.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    …When Grant Hill (i love this guy) is your healthiest player you gotta wonder if it’s a window of opportunity you have or whether your looking for fools gold at the end of some gay rainbow….

  • http://www.blogs.myspace.com/orignadro Witness

    @ dacre: its called irony.

  • Young Chris MP3

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shaq sign with the Spurs, Lakers, Celtics, or even Heat come next summer when his contract is expired and he has a choice of either retiring or chasing another ring or two. I guarantee he’d be a better “final piece to a championship” than a lot of you are giving him credit for (and yes, he proved last year with the Suns that he could BE a role player on a winning team).

  • Young Chris MP3

    @ Dacre, the lack of success in Phoenix falls more on Mr. Stoudemire’s shoulders than any other player. His lack of skills defensively and his failure to rebound have much to do with it, but for someone who easily averaged 30 points in the second half of last season, dude barely cracked 20 per this year. And the critics said Nash was a product of the system he played in…

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Witness Posted: Mar.11 at 7:45 pm
    @ dacre: its called irony.
    ________________________________________________
    ^_^
    Some say irony, some say gay rainbows.

    @YoungChrisMP3 – I agree… I take it a step further and just wonder how the head office could have been so rediculously narrow-minded to not keep that successful unit together from the previous 4 years..?! I’m borderline angry and definitely embarrased.

  • Young Chris MP3

    Just because I’m up late with nothing to do other than post on Twitter and try to get past this writer’s block, I decided to look into the 2006 Playoffs to set things straight once and for all. The Diesel averaged 23.7 points and 13.2 rebounds during the first round in the four games Miami won, including a 30/20 close-out game. In the second round, Diesel averaged 18.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in the four games Miami won. In the Eastern Conference Finals, Shaq averaged 22.5 points per and 11.2 rebounds per, including a 28/16 close-out game in which Dwyane Wade played with the Flu and only managed to score 14 points. So far, it seems like the Heat’s championship run was more of a balanced effort than some seem to remember. In the Finals, during games 3-6 in which Miami won four in a row to take home the Larry O’Brien trophy, O’Neal averaged 15 and 12, in the process averaging more boards than both Diop AND Dampier (Dallas’ two Centers) combined. In conclusion (yes, I’m treating this as if it is a history lesson), had either Shaquille O’Neal or Dwyane Wade not stepped their games up during those four playoff rounds, they would have never brought a Championship to Miami that summer. With Dwyane Wade taking well over 20 shots a game in the Finals, it would be foolish to think that Shaq would get the types of looks and touches that he did earlier in the playoffs or in years past. However, what Shaq did in the 2006 Finals: being a beast on the boards and not allowing Dallas many second chance points, getting in where he fit in, and scoring decent numbers (15 points per game is far from embarrassing, but compared to Wade’s dominance that series, it looks weak), O’Neal sacrificed his own game for the betterment of the team when he saw it necessary. This is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy for the big fella, as he was quoted earlier in the year as saying he would rather his numbers drop and his team succeed than to average big numbers and have his team fall short of success. Remember, Shaq was only a year removed from being the runner-up in the MVP (in 2005 when Steve Nash won his first of two consecutive awards) and had he and Dwyane Wade both avoided the injuries in which they sustained during the ’05 playoffs, they very well may have been back-to-back champions by the summer of 2006. How soon we forget though.

  • Young Chris MP3

    And had Shaq taken better care of himself during the second half of 2002, The Lakers likely would have won in 2003 (when he decided to “heal on company time” due to his injury being work-related). So as much success as Shaq has had in his career, there will always be a lot of “what ifs” to ponder. What if Nick Anderson never choked in the Finals? What if Kobe and Shaq could have gotten along? What if Shaq never hurt his toe and gained that weight after the three-peat? What if Karl Malone never got injured? (The Lakers very likely would have won in ’04.) What if Shaq/Wade never got hurt in ’05? What if Shaq/Wade never got hurt in ’07? Would a rejuvenated Shaq on this current Heat squad be a championship contender? These aren’t excuses so much as they are conditions. Kind of like those who argue what would have happened in ’94 and ’95 had Mike never left to play baseball. Would the Bulls have been able to win 8 in a row? Unlikely, but the argument has been made. (Would Horace have bolted still? Would there still have been a need to sign Rodman?) Sports history can be funny sometimes.

  • http://www.basketballjerseyworld.com NBA-JERSEY-KING

    Young Chris – Shaq wont ever sign with the Heat again… the HEat dont want him after he trashed the organization as he left…

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    young chris, seems to me your writers block is fading fast. Great observations and analysis of Shaq. Well done

  • BostonBaller

    Young Chris MP3. we are on the same page in the same book. You don’t have to be a big fan of a player to acknowledge what they have done…As far as Shaq being out of shape, it is hard for a large person to work out when injured especially with a big toe injury. (too much weight) If a person has trouble with weight then it really becomes a problem when they are immobile. If any of the contenders had Shaq on their squad they would be over whelming favorites to win it this year. Joe Smith or Shaq, Mikii Moore or Shaq, Bynum or Shaq etc etc

  • http://WWW.Yahoo.Com The Kandi Raver

    Hmm Shaq on la again. That would be nice

  • YoungChrisMP3

    @NBA-Jersey-King & The Kandi Raver: I was advocating more to the fact that Shaq will likely sign to a team he could bring over the hump than simply walk away from the game. Since he will be a free agent, he will have the options he didn’t have when he was traded.

  • YoungChrisMP3

    And BostonBaller: I agree with you about the toe injury. I was suggesting that had he taken care of it in the offseason, rather than the preseason, he wouldn’t have missed as many games and likely would have been good by the playoffs.

  • http://www.dunkadelictv.com DunkadelicKingJames

    Shaq still has some game left in him. If he was to play for one-year in Cleveland with LeBron James he could win a Championship. If he played in at lest 60 games he would be 2nd or 3rd on the season dunkadelic-meter

  • giogolo

    Y’all here are a bunch of pukin faggots.. Why don’t y’all quit arguing and start playing basketball to keep your mouths shut.

  • L33tSauce

    Giogolo thats funny, because your the one taking the time to read our comments and respond. And YoungChris, do you think Shaq will settle or a low salary? I’m not so convinced. He’s no worth the money he’ll demand.

  • http://www.hw-event-hosting.de h-dub

    It would be great for LBJ and the City of Cleveland to have an NBA Champion before LBJ is heading for NYC and SHAQ for Retirement. This would be a perfect Ending. And he, add Posey for the Minimum at CLE and you are safe for a RING :)

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Young Chris:
    Here’s a topic to write about: DWAYNE WADE brought Shaq the championship.
    Shaq is going to send his new teammates photoshopped pictures of Steve Nash during the off-season, then start calling the Suns’ roster a slew of names. Then he’s going to go dance with the stupid @ss Jabberwockey posers.
    Then he’s going to flop and get dunked on by Amare, and start a war of words with Alvin Gentry.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Granted, Shaq USED to be good. I’ll give ya’ll that.

  • joemanay

    shaqs done in the nba. its over, man.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Shaq aint done. the man is just getting started. watch him shoot 75% free throws for the next 3 years and claim the 3rd all time positon in total points in NBA history. WITH a playoff team, that will win the championship at least once during those said 3 years.

  • YoungChrisMP3

    Teddy, if he’s photoshopping anyone, it’s gonna be Amare on a woman’s body. Dude’s a primadonna. However, I shouldn’t even be responding to you if you still are going to insinuate that Dwyane Wade (Spell his name right please? Especially if you’re going to put it in all caps). I thought I cleared that one up in my 1:46 am comment. Glad to know some come on here to talk ish without fact-checking their statements.

  • YoungChrisMP3

    LOL @ Dacre. Wishful thinking. Dude is far from done though. As long as his body holds up he still will remain a factor. ESPECIALLY on a team that can utilize him.

  • larrylegend

    shaq, run your own franchise and become again larger than life.

  • L33tSauce

    Shaq is going to buy the Indiana Pacers and become Jackie Moon. He’ll be the GM, the coach, and the star of the show. An he and his team will suck like the tropics.

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