Shaquille O’Neal on the Boston Celtics: ‘They Miss Me’

by February 27, 2012

Even though he never really was a factor for the Boston Celtics during a 37-game misadventure in his last NBA season, Shaquille O’Neal claims that the team misses his presence in the paint. From the Boston Herald: “Shaquille O’Neal didn’t exactly deliver a ringing endorsement for his last NBA employer. He clearly doesn’t see the Celtics [team stats] in the same class with the Eastern Conference elite. And he acknowledged that his injury-encouraged departure from playing has helped drive the Celts deeper into an inside power outage that has them among the worst rebounding teams in the league. ‘It’s a different team,’ said O’Neal. ‘They miss me. They miss Kendrick Perkins. It’s a different team. Hopefully guys like Brandon (Bass) will step up and give Kevin (Garnett) some relief.’ As for the Celtics prospects going forth this season, O’Neal was tepid at best, while pretty much drawing a line in the sand on their upside. ‘The good thing about their team is they’re not in a situation where they’re trying to get homecourt advantage throughout (the playoffs) and all that stuff,’ he said. ‘You know, (coach) Doc (Rivers) made a good point the other day that they don’t want to be in the eighth spot and face Miami. But if they can get to the fifth or sixth spot and play somebody that have a shot against, maybe they can make some noise. Who knows?’ When asked flatly how far be believes the Celtics can go this year, Shaq said, ‘I think they can move up.’ Tepid may be pushing it.”