Friday, October 9th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  72 responses

Shaq on Cavs: ‘Best Team I’ve Been on’

by Marcel Mutoni

He simply can’t help himself.

Shaquille O’Neal is undoubtedly the greatest self-promoter in the history of the NBA. Which is why no one should be surprised when he makes outlandish statements about whatever team he happens to be on.

He’s a Cav now, so naturally, he thinks — or he says, anyway — they’re the best he’s ever had (a statement coming after a single preseason game.)

From the Akron Beacon Journal:

The words came easily, without hesitation and seemingly with the thought required before going for the bold splash. In Shaquille O’Neal’s estimation – one based on four championship rings and other honors – he’s found basketball nirvana. And in of all places, Cleveland.

”Like I said before, one through 15, it’s probably the best team that I’ve been on,” O’Neal said. ”I’ve always been on management to get me the shooters I needed and the power forward I needed, but here [we have that].”

There’s no need to go into the details of why the above statement is patently false; that would be missing the point entirely.

At one point or another, depending on who was signing his checks, Shaq has said similar things. It’s an integral part of his overall marketing plan.

He’ll probably end up making the exact same statement a few years from now, about whatever team he ends up joining on the senior circuit.

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  • maio


  • rog123

    Shaq to nyc?? They would become the greatest defensive team of all time!

  • Ken

    @rog123: You could add Bill Russell, Artest, and Ben Wallace in his prime and the knicks would still be poor on defense. D’Antoni is their coach for crying out loud!

  • Vikturus

    Not his best team ever, but they will win it all!

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Shaq must’ve been sharing that blunt with Lamar.

  • josh

    @ brad hahahahahahahahahaha that was good. But honestly, shaq is going to bring lebron a ring.. he has brought 3 to kobe and one to wade, its only fair. Unless of course, Oden continues at his preseason rate… then its all blazers!! but who knows if that will happen.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Premature ESHAQulation in it’s purest form. L’il warrior, i dig your sense of drama (in little doses please) but give it a rest, man. With your history lately, you might wish you never uttered these words by next May or so.

  • http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/ PANAGIOTIS VASILOPOULOS

    SHAQ has always been stu..d and now, by becoming so predictable, he is also boring.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Young Chris MP3

    Before I even READ the biased summary of the article by Marcel, or even the comments (as both are more predictable than many of you probably claim Shaq is), I’m interested if Marcel mentions the “at least, on paper” part of what Shaq says.

    To his defense, while O’Neal is far from the player he, himself, was when he was on the Heat, and especially on the Lakers during his dominant, championship years, Shaq is talking about the team around him. Primarily, he is referring to the fact that at this stage in Lebron’s young career, he is playing at a more elite level than Kobe, Dwyane, or Penny were when he played with any of those guys. Is that even arguable?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dave

    Even before I READ Young Chris’s comment I’m inclined to stop.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Young Chris MP3

    Now reading what Marcel wrote, I agree Diesel has always psyched his team up. Sometimes it’s worked for him. Others, not so much. However, Lebron in 2009 > Kobe 1996-2004, Penny 1993-1996, Dwyane Wade.

  • jdn41

    shaq 1993-1996 > shaq 1996-2004 > shaq 2005-2006 >>> shaq 2009-2010

  • http://azmaniandevil.wordpress.com Azhar

    Didn’t he say the same thing about Phoenix?

  • Hangtime Hec

    It was just a matter of time before he said something like this. I believe shaq suffers from short term memory.

  • Vikturus

    Josh that would be something… Oden vs Shaq battle in the finals! But Portland ain’t ready just yet.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Young Chris MP3: You are forgetting how good Kobe was a the same age as Lebron, I would go into stats, but whats the point. I would take Kobe at the same age of Lebron anyday. See Kobe has killer instinct, Lebron has hope his shot goes in, Kobe can pull up and post shots, Lebron has drive to bucket and 1, The more polished player at their ages wass Kobe, and Shaq is an idiot, we all know that didn’t he say him and KObe is the greatest 1-2 punch ever, so now his Cavs are the greatest, Also Kobe average over 25 with Shaq and Kobe should have had one of those Finals MVP. Kobe >> Lebron.

  • http://palehour.com Pale

    Hasn’t Shaq said this about every team he’s been traded to in his ongoing quest to have more championships than Kobe?

    Sheesh, I let my love for the Suns cloud my opinion of him last year, but it’s pretty obvious he’s still the same arrogant dolt he’s always been.

  • namik

    Is he implying that he’s “got” LeBron? Like he’s the focal point of the offense or something? Shaq really needs to get his perspective right.

  • knock knock

    LOL Amare was the best pf in the nba the last year, but this year….lebron is the best pf and shaqs headlining the greatest team he’s ever known. Too bad i already knew shaq thought this.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Well he said he’d bring a championship to Phoenix, and he said Wade was the best player he’s ever played with, and asked Kobe how his a$s tasted.. lol

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

    Shaq “understands marketing” but apparently not when a certain campaign has gotten old and played out. Let’s just see what the teams mental state is in March.

  • Omar3

    Thats what Allen Iverson said last year. Hope shaq has a horrible season also.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    Clearly not the best team he’s ever been on, but they probably will have the best record of any team he’s ever been on. Something to think about.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com albie1kenobi

    @Cheryl: remember i asked about when Shaq’s gonna start badmouthing the Suns? When do you think that’s gonna happen?

  • Yesse

    Shaq said the same about Heat and Phoenix.Anyways the 99-00 Lakers is the best team i have ever seen Shaq on.

  • mdshuai33

    I don’t think the Cavs are going to have a better record than they had last season: if boston stays healthy and if Vinsanity works out for Orlando, and if Gil is healty in Washington, there’s going to be some tough games in the East this year, which wasn’t really the case throughout the regular season last year for cleveland.

  • http://realcavsfans.com Anton

    82 wins.

  • http://realcavsfans.com Anton

    It’s only fair to let me report Laker stories, I’ll force my opinions on you like a snake on a white rabbit.

  • UnRel

    ”I’ve always been on management to get me the shooters I needed and the power forward I needed, but here [we have that].” — i hope you clevland fans got the center you needed..

  • Fat Lever

    The best team Shaq has ever been on was when he teamed up with Fu-Schnikens. It’s not a contest really.

  • ClydeSays

    Shaq is a funny guy. You’ve got to give him that.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    So Andersen Varejao is the PF Shaq needs?

  • Luciano Galasso

    Okay Shaq. How about you win a championship in Cleveland before more making such a bold statement.

  • LeoneL

    he did said “probably”…

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    The big hyperbole.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    70 wins!

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

    Funny, I just told my boss that this was the best job I have ever had.

  • Jacki Jormp-Jomp


  • http://slamonline.com/ Spaceship Jay

    “Must SH*T… on.. SOMEONE!! Cannot… contain need.. to discredit…. SOMEONE ELSE!…. Will descredit….. All other teams… that I’ve EVER BEEN ON!! Ahh. Much better!” Shaq obviously has an addiction that must be fed. At all times.

  • Jacki Jormp-Jomp

    Dammit, I meant Shaqenfraude.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Lebron, Mo Williams, Delonte, Anthony Parker, Varejo, Big Z, Boobie, Matt Barnes, Jamario Moon, JJ Hickson, Leon Powe.
    Hmmm, from top to bottom that’s a solid roster.
    Now, thinking about those old Laker teams, the ones before the rings, with Eddie Jones, Nick the quick, Elden Campeell and Kobe, there might be better talent there, but I don’t know.
    Cavs got a decent roster man, but that doens’t count for any wins.
    Shaq was spouting his usual craziness, but, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth there. Maybe a smidgen.

  • http://slam Bigbeats’96

    rog123 ur an idiot shaq cant play d he’s now a fat loser trying and begiing to get one more chip before Kobe. Kobe can now do it without shaq and now shaq needs a sidekick like Dwade carried his fatass for the finals and he needs lebron to do the same sorry. Lakers celts in the finals king james aint no king without a crown

  • ENDS

    Shaq being Shaq. He does this everywhere he goes. He Begged and got Gary Payton on his Squad. Karl Malone was on his team Nuff Said

  • NUPE

    What else is he suppose to say? I don’t recall him ever saying that the Magic, lakers, heat or suns were the best teams he has ever been on. I do remember him saying D-wade is the best player he’s been on a team with and that him and kobe were the best 1-2 punch. But when did he say any other team he was on was better. With that said, I don’t think this is the best team he’s been on, but this team may be the most complete. Outside shooters, slashers and a PF (what previous PF has he played with better on Defense than Andy? – he may also be consider Bron as the PF sense he’ll play the 4 at least 10-15 per).

  • Orlando Green

    He def said it about the Suns…wow where did they end up last year??!?! AHahahah…Shaq is just trying to remain relevant in the NBA…I like him…but he just needs to admit to himself that he is OLD… and run with the best anymore. I would love to see in a game vs the magic, Dwight Howard put both Shaq and Z on the same poster…

  • a_whiteman

    Isn’t matt Barnes on the magic???

  • Yesse

    I think Shaq and the fans and the haters are overestimating his ability.Shaq is my favorite player, but i cant say that they are taking the championship.I cant say, that Shaq will be dominant next season.Well he will be dominant, but not “Lakers-era” dominant.Im gonna have to go with the 99-02 Lakers before this team.

  • mookie

    Shaq, your cavs team is good. but that 2000 – 2001 lakers team that went 15-1, was the best team you’ve been on. – Kanye

  • NUPE

    Shaq isn’t close to the player he use to be, but I’d still take him over the majority of bigs out there. He’s not elite anymore but still able to contribute. It’s not like he plays a skill game with quick moves and footwork – he’s more of a pure power/’let me dunk over you’ and ‘stand in your way so you can’t back me down’ type of player. He still has this part of his game that works on most except for the elite.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    A white man
    You’re right, my bad.

  • Mike Klander

    Oh Shaq! We’ve heard it all before!

  • Gabriel

    i love shaq cuase he’s an entertainer and miss when he used to play wit the heat.But saying that thats the best team he’s been on.THATS HEAD.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    It is a communications strategy mostly directed at the Cavs themselves. He keeps saying in interviews that his time with Phil Jax made him realize that the most important aspect of getting that ‘ship is belief. You have to trust your teammates and believe that you can achieve that. That’s what he’s trying to instill in Cleveland. Of course, it’s just a pitch at this point. But one that can help the team. They do have 12 guys (if you include Powe) that can be thrown in a game and play a solid 15 mins though. That’s good depth.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I h@te to say it, but as a Knick fan, co-sign Ken…

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Yawn. Same old shaq. Getting boring now actually. You can almost see the Phoenix organization under the bus in the approaching distance.

  • mar

    Allenp that roster has a lot of new imports that team could lead to REALLYbad chemistry with all the big men barly nowing each other.

  • http://nationofmillions.ca ciolkstar

    I know he said it just to make a splash, but…the only thing that would’ve made the Lakers dynasty teams better than this team was the fact that Shaq was his younger, prime-of-his-career self. Controlling for everything else, this team is just as good as those squads, probably better (especially “on paper” as he said). Bron is better now than Kobe was then, no doubt. Kobe could barely get that team to the playoffs after the Deez jetted… And Dwade carried the Heat team that one, and sorta lucked up because of refs and the fact that they got to play the pussified Mavs in the finals. And please don’t even bring up the Fake-ass ring chasing bunch which included the corpses of Gary Payton and Karl Malone. Seriously, those team were Shaq+Kobe and triangle fillers. Thats it. Rick Fox, Slava Medvedenko, DFish, Devean George, etc… nothing special there, IMO. Mark Madsen was getting significant burn…
    Horry was one of the only other legit players they had, if you ask me.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    question: could the Lakers have gotten 65 wins without Shaq and just Kobe?

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

    answer: no. they would have only got 60 and shaq would have come down hard on how “they needed him obviously”.

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

    shaq “had the power forwards he needed” in the following people:

    Karl Malone
    Horace Grant
    Dennis Rodman

    and didn’t win with them….
    he’s stil awesome however.

  • Hambone

    he does realiz who is the PF on the cavs right?

    maybe he thought LBJ was the PF

  • http://slamonline.com cb 34

    73 wins! It’s on this year. By the end of the season they will have the best record ever in nba history and this is with shaq just playing 60 games. I think james and shaq complement each other becuse of the required double and both are great passers. Wally and ben are gone which is a major plus. Sad about sasha but we’re a lot better team than last year. Best record ever even with mike brown.

  • peter

    LMAO. Shaq’s garbage now, find it funnier that some people are like, ” WAIT!! THIS TEAM HAS LEBRON ON IT, SO IT is the best!!” Little do they know, that the cavs couln’t even beat the lowly magic, let alone the celtics. conf. finals again, with another loss.

  • http://www.powerforward.nl JLP

    I suggest Shaq first proves to us he can win without Kobe or Wade.

  • lou

    Shaq isnt garbage, even slowed down name a better post up center in the league? stop yourself before you say dwight howard, and yao is hurt, who does that leave? He still gonna average about 16 and 10, while commanding double teams. Kobe at Lebrons age wasnt as good, he took bad shots and disrupted team chemistry. Lebron makes people around him better, Kobe just started to learn that and I’m not sure that he really does know it. And Lebron is a SF, Amare wasn’t the best PF in the game last year, in and out year after year that is Tim Duncan. I’m predicting a hard fought eastern conference finals between boston and the Cavs. I don’t know what the spurs are doing can we retire Mr. Finely? and get a young athletic slasher 2 guard? The Lakers will disappoint, mark my words. Bynum out 3 weeks into the season, due to a fractured vagina, not that it really affects the team.

  • http://fdsjklf.com Jukai

    Does Shaq command double teams anymore? He’s going to get 16-11, but I think that’s under single coverage nowadays.

  • lou

    At least 3/4 of the teams in the league still double him. Its gonna be a lot tougher with teams focusing on Lebron now. Also being in a system that will go half court offense more times than not I think we will see Shaq as an allstar again

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Bron is better than Kobe was back then, but Kobe was tearing the league a new @ss after Shaq left.

  • Steve

    The “on paper” comment is wrong. On paper the team with Malone and Payton was the best he has been on. Paper doesn’t equal pinewood flooring. This team might win, though Iam waiting for Shaq to punch Varejao in the face when he does some stupid flop and embarrasses every one of his teammates.

  • NUPE

    his “on paper” team with an old Malone and GP was not the best he had been on. However, if you look at Malong, GP, Shaq and Kobe as all being in thier prime at the same time, then you could argue one of the best teams ever.

  • George B

    can’t wait to see kobe kicking his butt in june. however, i don’t think shaq will be playing in june coz boston will be back.

  • roman

    Hey Shaq- You still feel the same. He’s just hyping up this team. They looked booboo lastnight. Let the old geratol crew run on them. Lebron needs some real help. Someone that can score and create their own shot. Long season for Cleveland!!!!!!!!!