2010 NBA Free-Agent Signings | Shaquille O’Neal to Boston Celtics!Category: Basketball
The rumor that Shaq is going to Boston is true after all.
Shaquille O’Neal has agreed today to play for the Boston Celtics for two years for the veteran minimum of $2.8 million.
With Shaq’s addition, the team now has four future Hall-of-Famers in its roster with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
The Big Shamrock’s arrival also gives the team a front court boost as center Kendrick Perkins is expected to come back February of next year after suffering an injury in Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals.
It can be argued that Perkins’ injury swung the Finals in the Lakers’ favor as no one was able to contain their frontcourt of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom.
Earlier last month, the team has signed center Jermaine O’Neal for a two-year deal worth the full midlevel exception. The Celtics’ frontcourt will now be composed of the two O’Neals, Kevin Garnett, Perkins, Glen Davis and rookies Luke Harangody and Semih Erden.
That’s enough to contend with its bitter rivals if a rematch happens.
Ironically, Shaq spent the best part of his career with the LA Lakers winning a regular season MVP award, three consecutive championship rings along with three NBA Finals MVP awards, a scoring title, and All-NBA Team and All-Defensive Team accolades while being named to the All-Star game every year that he played for the team.
Playing for the Celtics is truly an intriguing story. Even at the twilight of his career, Shaq don’t want to get upstaged; The Decision notwithstanding.
While we don’t know yet how Shaq enters the “Big Four” rotation of KG, Pierce, Allen and Rajon Rondo, he has been known to take a backseat as is the case with Dwayne Wade in Miami and Lebron James in Cleveland.
Shaq feels that playing with the Boston Celtics is his last chance to fill all of his fingers in one hand with a championship ring.
Winning one more is more important to him than money.
Last season, he had a salary of $21 million; a far cry from $1.4 million he will be getting this year. Instead of playing for another team that can offer him more or even play internationally where someone is willing to pay him $10 million, he opted to stay and accept the huge pay cut.
Well, he knows too that at this stage of his career, he can not command top dollar anymore.
Last season, he averaged 12.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 53 games; all career lows for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As the first pick in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, Shaq will now be playing in his 20th NBA season. He has career averages of 24.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks playing with the Orlando Magic, LA Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers.
He holds numerous all-time NBA records. The most distinguished being: 5th in scoring with 28,255 points and 14th in rebounds with 12,921, 6th in field goals and 7th in blocks.
In addition to his basketball career, O’Neal has released four rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum. He has also appeared in numerous films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq’s Big Challenge and Shaq Vs.
When he retires two years from now, I’ll not wonder if he decides to be an MMA fighter.