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Monday, August 2nd, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  60 responses

Shaq, Still Looking for an NBA Job

O’Neal has no doubt about his place in the game’s history (and rightly so), but in today’s game, that is still up for debate. From the Toronto Sun: “The NBA’s largest free-agent pool in history has all but dried up, leaving a handful of well-known names searching for homes. None is bigger than Shaquille O’Neal, who still thinks he can demand more than the veterans minimum of $1.3 milliShaquille O’Neal, Free Agencyon US a season. The Diesel has been linked with Atlanta, Dallas, Boston, Miami and San Antonio, but has no contract. O’Neal is trying to extract two years and roughly $10 million, which can only be achieved if Cleveland helps Shaq in a sign and trade, which isn’t likely. ‘The biggest thing that will define my legacy is how I’ve done it, and what I’ve done, and who I am,’ O’Neal said as he awaits a suitor willing to match his demands. ‘I’m a weird big guy. Doing rapping, doing movies. Do a lot of stuff. But always do things the right way. Changed three different franchises around (Orlando, L.A. Lakers and Miami). This is a guy who they (league officials) would have secret meetings about to change the rules. So, that’s going to be my legacy: The most dominant player ever.’ But a player without a home, but one who, at the right price, can still be very serviceable on a championship-calibre team.”

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  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    If this is the end of his career in basketball, I hope he bows out gracefully. Given the above quotes, however, grace doesn’t appear to be a part of his DNA. Sure he positively impacted 3 franchises, but he left a scorched earth behind in all three.

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    That, too will be a large part of his legacy. His HOF speech should be a doozy.

  • The Philosopher

    The most dominant center in NBA History.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    If no one signs him he can always go on tour with Justin Bieber. Plus he has Shaq Vs. The Big Aristotle is set for the future. If he wants to play this year though, he needs to take the veterans minimum.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    Recession, y’know?

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Philosopher
    No, Wilt has to still be considered the most dominant force ever in the NBA. His stats will never ever be closely matched.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Still Wilt could never get past Russell. Rings matter. Shaq is the most dominant BIG ever.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ The Promise

    ^ Agreed. Russel was his only competition back then basically. He overwhelmed the smaller centers of his day. Chamberlain would have a much tougher time today, with nearly every center in the League at or above 7 feet in height.

  • monkeyball

    I’ll take Kareem in his prime over Shaq in his prime. Shaq was stronger, but not as complete.
    And, clearly, way behind in the “class” department.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    Lz: Actually, he’s one of the two superstars to lead his team past the Russell/Cousy/Havlicek powerhouse team.
    So, you know, read a book or something.
    Chamberlain played Unseld, Russell, Gilmore, etc. etc. ten times a season. The league had very few teams back then.
    Once again, read a book.

  • Ben

    The Promise and lz, please, no history comments if you don’t know history. There’s enough information out there to get educated, you have no reasons for comments like that.
    No rules were changed for Shaq. They only changed rules to stop 2 players, Mikan and Wilt.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    Russel, Wilt, Shaq, Kareem etc,all belong in the same sentence together. It’s highly debateable who’s the best, some people would add Hakeem to the list as well. They each had differnt styles and competition that worked in the era in which they played. I’d argue Kareem/Hakeem had the most complete games and could play in any era on any team. Shaq/Wilt were more ‘power’ players and Russel, although some would say his game was ‘soft’, fit in so well with his team and really made it ‘complete’ (plus he has the most rings – which I do not believe is a sign of individual greatness). All that said, I hope that Shaq bows out with grace versus being bitter or riding the pine and gaining a ton of wait, leaving the game a whale.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    Ben: actually, zone defenses were implemented cause of Shaq… you know, history

  • ENDS

    hey he can play in Orland….O h wait you cant

  • The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    @ Ben 1144: actually I think I know at least 1 rule that was changed bcuz of Shaq And I don’t know if that really adds 2 his legacy of “greatness”. U know the rule if a player is fooled without the ball in the last 2 min of the 4th quarter, he has possession and the free-trow(if applicable). I think it’s thanx 2 Shaq (n Ben Wallace maybe) awesome free-throw shooting that the nba introduced that rule 2 avoid lenghty and spetacleless end of games…

  • ai come back

    lol they still had hack a shaq………

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Come to the Knicks, Shaq, and play it out in the Mecca.

  • The Philosopher

    Kareem is the greatest Center to ever play.
    Shaq is the most dominant.
    Wilt is a pioneer, but he is overrated. I even overrate him for the sake of argument. Hakeem, David Robinson, and Shaq were all better than Wilt.
    Kareem used to kick his ass anyway.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    ^^^
    Totally untrue in every sense of the word.
    Chamberlain was probably the most athletic center of all time. Easy. He ran the 100-yard dash in 10.9 seconds, put the shot 56 feet, triple jumped more than 50 feet, and won the high jump in the Big Eight track and field championships three straight years in college. Dude would practice on a 12-foot hoop in Kanas. Could you imagine Shaq doing ANY of that?!?!?!
    Chamberlain’s SKILL-LEVEL, admittedly, is probably overrated, he didn’t really have many moves outside of the spin, and rarely faced up unless on the fast break.
    But I think he’d probably outplay any center in his prime.
    Even Kareem.
    Here’s a quote from TIME magazine:
    “In the N.B.A.’s western division title series with Milwaukee, he (Chamberlain) decisively outplayed basketball’s newest giant superstar, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, eleven years his junior”
    Chamberlain was 34. And he was outplaying Jabbar.
    Sorry, once again: read your history

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    That being said, Jabbar is still the greatest of all time cause of his championships, awards, longevity, and his absolute dominance of the 70s which was JUST as great as Chamberlain in the 60s and Shaq in the early 2000s.

  • Ben

    @Jukai Zone defense was not introduced because of Shaq but because of the increasing complaints of the illegal defense call.

    @The Fresh Prince of Nsam: You are right but I was talking about rules to stop a player, not help him.

  • Martey

    I’m reading comments and it’s weird the arguments being presented. Does winning championships make you the best at your position? So Bill Wennington and Luc Longley should be high on everybody’s list. Not knocking Bill Russell because he was great but Wilt, as Jukai put it down, was an athletic beast. To put David Robinson over Wilt…If anybody remembers Shaq’s game when he was in Orlando, it was literally back you down and dunk on you, no other move at all. Are we talking about skill? Then it’s Hakeem or Kareem..how many rings you won or the longevity or your career. Still Shaq should play in Jersey, bring everything full circle. That would be a good look

  • The Philosopher

    So, I guess Chamberlain lied when he said he needed help guarding Kareem, but… anyways.
    Today is your day. You can have it.
    Plagiarist.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    He said that when he was 33 and Kareem was 23… of course he needed help. I shouldn’t have to explain this to you.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Chamberlain was also supposed to be kind of a jerk.

  • The Philosopher

    My point still stands.
    Kareem used to get the better of Wilt.
    I shouldn’t have to explain this to you.

  • rich

    to b fair bill russel pooped all over wilt chamberlain, nd i remember no1 doin that to shaq

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    The Philosopher: Yes, when an aging, on the decline, post-massive leg injury Wilt played an in-his-prime Kareem, Kareem would usually get the better of Wilt. You’re right. Congratulations for bringing up a nothing point.
    Rich: Russell rarely played chamberlain straight up, and never had better stats than Chamberlain. Russell has one or two quotes saying he couldn’t stop Chamberlain, and one major quote saying Chamberlain was downright better than him.
    And Hakeem did rip into a young Shaq, but that’s a bit unfair, since Shaq hadn’t primed yet.

  • The Philosopher

    Jukai:
    Then your original point was… less than my original point, no?
    I guess today isn’t your day.
    Not on my watch, anyway.
    Your point is even more invalid after you brought up the age differences. Wilt dominates Kareem at 34, but not at 33?
    Long hours at the job, there?

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    Wilt dominated Kareem in the playoffs. You know, when it counted.
    Generally, Kareem would win the battle over his peer who was a decade over.
    I’m sorry, this is a pretty simple concept but I don’t have any handpuppets to help explain it to you. You’re just going to have to try hard and take it one word at a time.

  • Tommy Patron

    Nerdy.

  • The Philosopher

    Still, my original point stands.
    You can spin it however way you want to spin it.
    Again, I fully understand your plight, though.
    So, carry on. Prove to yourself what you think you need to prove, and then exhale. It will get better.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    So your point was that Chamberlain wasn’t SUPERIOR enough to Kareem that he couldn’t beat a prime Kareem when Chamberlain was ten years older, coming back from massive knee ailments?
    Great. Your original point still stands.
    Thumbs up.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    Oh whoops.
    Sorry, there was a typo there.
    I meant to say “Your original point still sucks”
    My bad.

  • The Philosopher

    Again, spin it how you want.
    I said Kareem got the better of Wilt, which is fact.
    If fact sucks to you, then… better you than me.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    Sooo adding more facts such as “Wilt was 33 with shot knees” and “Kareem was 23, coming out of college and in his athletic prime” when Kareem played Wilt is spinning things?
    Saying Wilt outplayed Kareem in a pivotal WCF series is spinning things?
    You just HATE it when I correct you, huh?

  • The Philosopher

    I don’t hate anything you do.
    All I’m saying is that Kareem used to kick kicked Wilt’s ass.
    You originally said that that was untrue in every sense of the word.
    That is not correcting me. Even if it was correcting me, I wouldn’t hate it. Why would I hate being corrected?
    I’m more self secure than that.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    Ah, yeah. You’re right. I did say it was untrue in every sense of the word. That’s wrong. You’re just being weasel-y by not adding in a lot of details. But you’re telling the truth.
    My bad, I was wrong above.

  • The Philosopher

    The feeling of inferiority rules the mental life and can be clearly recognized in the sense of incompleteness and un-fulfillment, and in the uninterrupted struggle both of individuals and humanity.
    (Alfred Adler)

  • The Philosopher

    No hard feelings, brethren.
    You are my dude, believe it or not.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    Great. Glad to hear I’m still your dude.
    Call me when we start talking ball again.

  • CelticsFan!

    I really think this could be the end of Shaq’s career…….. finally. The dude has been playing like forever. But don’t get me wrong he was a good player back when he was in his prime (not that he’s washed up or anything) but he’s just not as much of advantage to the team he’s on anymore.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Jukai & Ben; I read plenty of books (currently doing my MBA in my 3rd language) so please zip it about stuff you don’t know anything about. I am aware that Wilt won 1 (one!) ring against Russell. Still doesn’t change the fact that Russell regularly outplayed or at least held his own against Wilt. While Shaq in his prime was completely unstoppable. Jukai, I acknowledge your stance on Kareem’s longevity and agree that gives him a strong case for best C ever, just like I would say that Hakeem in the championship years was probably the best center I ever saw. My point was that Shaq was the most dominant and that still stands; fact is when Wilt was in his prime he was played to a stand-still by Russell, aint nobody who could even get close to playing Shaq to a stand-still in his prime. It is dificult to compare different decades, but it is fact that nobody could stop or even come close to stopping Shaq in his prime (hack-a-Shaq or not) whereas the Wilt-Russell match-up was evenly matched. Because of this Shaq was the most dominant center ever, I never said best. I really can’t decide who is the best center ever; you can make an excellent case for both Wilt, Russell, Kareem, Hakeem and Shaq imo, but like I mentioned earlier it is hard to compare the different decades. Now back to studying.

  • http://sdfkjlf.com Jukai

    ^^^
    I am still questioning your knowledge, sir.
    “After I played him for the first time, I said ‘Let’s see. He’s four or five inches taller. He’s 40 or 50 pounds heavier. His vertical leap is at least as good as mine. He can get up and down the floor as well as I can. And he’s smart. The real problem with all this is I have to show up.’”
    –Bill Russell
    “If [the referee] is calling [the game] loose then everyone gets away with more. So, you have to handle your own man accordingly, unless it’s Wilt Chamberlain. Him, you just don’t handle. He’s too strong. The best you can do is make him work hard.”
    – Bill Russell
    “Wilt is playing better than I used to — passing off, coming out to set up screens, picking up guys outside, and sacrificing himself for team play.”
    – Bill Russell,
    Even Bill Russell didn’t think he could play Chamberlain even. Enough of that.
    I’m not saying Russell wasn’t more valuable— he was, massively so. Chamberlain often didn’t care about winning. Chamberlain wasn’t anywhere near the leader. Chamberlain wasn’t as coachable.
    But Russell could NEVER play Chamberlain even. Not. Even. Close.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    So, where does Sabonis fall into the list of top bigs of all time?? j/k, I need a book. :) b.t.w. great points, but i think the all time greatest center is the matter of ones opinion.. Not really a clear-cut ansewer..

  • http://www.slamonline melvin ely

    ^^ Agree with Jukai. Russell once said that you never get into a numbers game with Wilt (or something like that), because you’ll lose. Physically, he was every bit Russell’s equal and then some. But Russell had the team, the coaching, and most importantly the mental toughness to stay competetive against Wilt’s teams. Wilt may have gotten the best of him most times, but record books don’t lie; Wilt could never carry his team past Russell’s. I don’t think Russell would’ve wanted it any other way.

  • The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    @Ben 2:21, LMAO!

  • http://slamonline.com Dave.

    Note to self: Don’t talk bullsh1t when Jukai is on the job, he actually knows stuff rather than blows wind.
    Good work, sir.

  • The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    @Lz, I’m not 1 to enter the Best ever debate, just tell me what does the fact that u r doin ur mba in ur 3rd language has 2 do with basketball knowledge? Was it a joke?

  • http://www.oprah.com Doyouwantmore

    Greg Ostertag

  • http://sdfkjlf.com Jukai

    Fresh Prince: No, LZ likes to flaunt his non-basketball knowledge whenever something like this comes up. It’s like clockwork. It used to shut me up when I was in college, but now that I’m in the real world making bank and he’s still f’ing schooling all the time, it doesn’t really bother me.
    Bottom line, he really hasn’t read much about Wilt/Russell. Or he misread something. Either or.

  • The Philosopher

    Study my 4:42 p.m. comment via Alfred Adler.

  • Yesse

    I hope he gets signed. Nba without Shaq would be boring. Like this years all star weekend. Huge disappointment.

  • lakerfan

    i doubt it if shaq will ever get back in the nba. he has a BIG EGO and nowadays i see the nba not liking players like him.

    shaq is just not a loyal guy, he was never loyal to orlando, LA, and miami.

    shaq is all bout making $$$$$$

    its so sad that the nba is like this now, all about the cash teams will give you.. all business as usual for some

    but the love for the game… aint quite there anymore.

    so sad to see the game we love end up like this.

    i remember when i first started watching the nba back in the 80s… those players had heart. heart for there team and heart for the game.

    whenever a great player would leave the game we love, there would be a going out tour on every court they played on that year. like Kareem had, magic and bird, MJ.

    those dudes were loyal to the game and to there team. and there teams took care of them

    i don’t see that happening to shaq, which is so sad cuz his one of my favorite players.

    good luck to you shaq and i hope you dont end up bankrupt like some good ball players

  • truthteller

    People keep saying that Shaq was the most dominating center in NBA history! I don’t think they ever thin about it? How do you define dominating? I think he led the league in scoring once! I don’t think he ever never led the league in rebounds, blocks or steals! Oh and he only has 1 MVP! If he was the most dominating he should be top 2 in all those categories I just mentioned. SO, how is he the most dominating player in NBA history again? Someone explain that to me

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Jukai; Whatever I’m also in the real world making bank, just happens that my work pays for my MBA on the side. Look I wasn’t the one dishing out Mr. Know-it-all ‘read a book’ comments, as I read plenty of books I’m going to respond to that – no matter if you or others don’t think my MBA has anything to do with that. Good you finished college, I’m glad that your a success, now get back to your cubicle and pretend to be working while you comment all-day on here – must be some hefty bank you are making since you have so many working hours reserved for commenting on SLAM. Back to BBall; Congratulations that you can google your way to some Russell’ quotes to support your argument. If I had the time; I’m pretty sure I could come up with some of Shaq’s competitors saying the same kind of things – but we’ll just agree that you won this round as it’s not the case. Fact is that Wilt got past Russell only one time, and no matter the quotes (Russell was a humble man so really is it that surprising that he praised Wilt?) Russell matched up with him on many occasions, slowed him down, and cancelled him out. Nobody did that to Shaq in his prime and the rings do count in a most ‘dominating’ debate. But we disagree let’s just leave it at that; they where both great.

  • http://sdfjklf.com Jukai

    Wow, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. You have a real job, work on an MBA every twenty seconds, yet still are one of the most prolific commentators here. Great.
    You can keep making up the fact that Russell got the better of Chamberlain, maybe someone will believe you. But it never happened.
    The Celtics always beat Chamberlain’s team.
    Chamberlain always crushed Russell.
    Period.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Prolific commentators? I comment on here about 10 times a week, and is out of circulation for months at a time. It must just be that you remember my contributions ;) . And even if I was so prolific like you claim, it would be all good as I’m the boss at my job for about 45% of the time. Everytime I come here to read an article I see you holding court in the comment section, so let’s not talk about prolific commentators. I’m not taking the Russell-Wilt debate any longer, like I said in my last post; we disagree, let’s just leave it at that. Good day.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    PS: It’s called multi-tasking, you should learn it.

  • Ben

    Wilt scored 50+ eight times on Russell. He also got his 55 rebounds record game on Russell.

    I guess those were the time Russell played him one on one

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