Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  37 responses

Shaq Taking His Decline in Stride

These days, O’Neal at least appears somewhat aware of his own basketball mortality: “Heading into his return to Phoenix Monday night, O’Neal was averaging seven fewer minutes a game than when he was an All-Star with the Suns last season. Not once has the veteran complained about his role or that he’s getting almost three fewer shots per game than a year ago. His positive attitude hasn’t wavered since the first day of training camp. However, there is something that had telling with O’Neal and is fair to compare to last season. That’s his shooting percentage, which has taken a noticeable dip. A career 58 percent shooter who hit nearly 61 percent of his shots in 2008-09, O’Neal is shooting a career-low 50 percent so far with the Cavs. ‘I’ve been missing some shots I usually make,’ O’Neal said before this road trip started. ‘But I don’t need to be the center of the offense anymore, I don’t need to worry about getting shots.”‘

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  • Ken

    Surprisingly magnanimous. AI should take notes.

  • kobesbestfriend

    Lebron doesnt know how 2 play with him…the big fella would be averaging 15 and 10 easily if he was playing with Kobe again i guarantee

  • Coconut

    Still a long way to go before he can get that ring for the king… Great attitude though, Cavs are having some fun and playing well (D-West loves this game :p)

  • heartlandG

    “Lebron doesnt know how 2 play with him…the big fella would be averaging 15 and 10 easily if he was playing with Kobe again i guarantee”

    Thank YOU! I bein sayin dat shyt…make it happen! I think Kobe would welcome it too

  • Someloser

    Why? If I was kobe I wouldn’t care for him back. You got Gasol, which is right now better than Shaq (on a game-by-game basis) and your team is perfect.

  • Randy Brown

    No way Kobe wants Shaq back

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    shaq to LA is one big DUMB IDEA for the fakers

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    The most surprising thing is how well he played last year… The water must be better in PHX.

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    that or their amazing training staff.

  • kobesbestfriend

    i bet he’ll want him back if they meet Boston in the finals…Gasol and Bynum will get bytched by Rasheed and KG

  • CDub23KB24

    ahahhaaaha… really? rasheeds old dumb slow asss can’t candle bynum on the block. and Pau is a better PF than KG now… no shaq needed wierdos

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    kobesbestfriend:”And that, boys and girls was the first time I s*cked a d!ck for crack, but it wouldn’t be the last!”

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    kobesbestfriend:”And that, boys and girls, was the first time I s*cked a d!ck for crack, but it wouldn’t be the last!”

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Double post for emphasis.

  • kobesbestfriend

    u mean the same Bynum that was useless in last years finals?and Pau isnt that much better than the Pau that was owned by KG in the finals 2yrs ago!!!I just thank the basketball gods that we have Ron Ron 2 guard PP this time round or we’d meet with the same disaster as the 2008 finals!!!

  • kobesbestfriend

    Is anthrax bad???

  • Jose

    Shaq is the ish.end of story.lol

  • Michael Scorn

    And the excuses have finally begun.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Th3_R3al_Chris

    Kobesbestfriend is smart. Shaq also averaged just under 18 ppg last year. Mike Brown doesn’t know how to coach him (or anybody else for that matter) and the rotations/minutes aren’t kind to The Big Fella.

  • LexLuther

    There isn’t one player in the League who “knows how to play with Shaq” at this point in his career. Not one. He’S still Shaq, but as much as I hate to admit it, he’s holding the Cavs back. They are forced to play 4-on-5 defense, and offensively they can’t move. It’s not a matter of LeBron not knowing how to play with him, and all the Kobe knob-slobbers out there are trying to use this as a way to make themselves feel like he’s better than LeBron, but there’s no comparison here. Shaq is the most dominant of all time, but it hurts to watch him not be able to do what he used to do.

  • LA Huey

    @Kobesbestfriend, stop being ridiculous. Kobe would be getting Shaq 5 more pts and 3 more boards a game? Yeah, because Pau’s numbers aren’t down from last season. And Kobe’s the type of teammate that would inspire Shaq to get more boards. right….

  • kobesbestfriend

    The zen master and mamba always knew how 2 keep the big fella in the offense and happy…just ask his 3 finals mvp trophies!Shaq looks stupid and slow in the Cavs offense!I know they only got him so he can body-up Dwight in the playoffs but this is ridiculous and Mike Brown should be replaced asap!!!

  • Michael Scorn

    Kobe made Shaq look good is the 2009 ASG.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    he was brought to bang down low with perks, bynum and dwight in the playoffs if they meet. he did exactly that against boston and orlando so far. i couldn’t give a flying eff if he played less than 10 mins a game at this point against teams that don’t have true centers. cleveland doesn’t need him in the regular season to be a top seed in the east and we all saw last year what regular season records mean in the playoffs. the move can only be judged after the playoffs. if the cavs get beat by those teams, shaq failed. if they beat those teams, shaq succeded. let’s not kid ourselves, big z wasn’t going to get it done.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Trade him for Shaq!

  • http://slamonline.com NUPE

    Shaq is simply missing shots that he should be making and use to make. Sense he’s not playing as well, he’s not playing as much. Plus, they have another viable option with Z. He’s been effective in the games where they expected him to be against teams with ‘traditional’ centers. I just hope he stays healthy and is playing his best basketball of the season in the playoffs. Mike B is not a great coach, maybe not even a good one and that fact may be the biggest factor impacting the team. But hopefully after the initial 82 they’ll figure it out.

  • Hangtime Hec

    His decline isn’t from his incompetent coach, you wanna know why he has fallen? ITS CALLED OLD AGE IDOITS! Stop making excuses. He would play the same way if he played with kobe. OLD AGE!

  • tavoris

    Shaq has a backup (Z)that has to get minutes, and CANNOT play on the court with him. Of course his minutes and shots will decline. Shooting percentage will start to rise again once the young legs on D get tired after Feb.

  • MacMouth

    Watching the Cavs the other day & I realised that half the Cavs dont know how to play with LeBron, they all stand back & let him do the work for them, Shaq needs to let LeBron know we can play with others….

  • http://myspace.com/weezyleezy337 GametimeWeezy

    doesnt anyone notice hes just coasting…wait till about febuary and youll see the beast emerge. celtics vs. cavs in the east…again. it will b epic

  • http://www.http://courtsidebasketball.blogspot.com/ stu

    blame mike brown.. the NOYZ spot about him impersonating a COTY was hysterical..

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    OH, JOE ROGAN!!!!!

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ


  • Baguma

    lakers over magic in 6

  • chintao

    If Kobe hadn’t won last year, I doubt Shaq would be sacrificing his massive ego to defer to el-BJ this year. It’s all about getting a shot at beating Ballhog-Rapist in The Finals.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty



  • rubs93

    It’s time for Shaq’s new name “The Big Sunset”