Friday, February 8, 2008

Do you want me to slam it? Yeah!

Photo: CNN

Another recent happening that I have been wanting to discuss is the fact that my Phoenix Suns have acquired Shaquille O'Neal in a deal that sends four-time All-Star Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat. Kristina sent me a disgruntled e-mail yesterday morning. She is one Suns fan who is NOT impressed with the idea of having to cheer for the Shaqster alongside our boy, Stevie. I mean, come on, get a load of this doofus:

Photo: Spohnranch
An official announcement came about the pairing of the speedy Suns and the slow but at one time-all mighty Shaq when he cleared a physical exam this week.

The trade is most definitely a very dramatic move by first-year Phoenix general manager Steve Kerr. The move signals an unexpected change in philosophy for the Suns, adding a 7-foot-1, 325-pound centre who has won four NBA championships but has been plagued by endless injuries in recent years.

Shaq has averaged 25.6 points and 11.5 rebounds over his 14-plus NBA seasons. This season, he's been dealing with injury after injury and is also going through a divorce. He's currently averaging 14.2 points. His 14-year streak as an All-Star choice came to an end this year. He missed much of the 2006-07 season with a knee injury and finished that year with career-lows in games (40), scoring (17.3 points), rebounds (7.4), minutes (28.4) and free-throw percentage (.422).

The Heat have lost 19 of their last 20 games and have the NBA's worst record at 9-37. The Suns are hoping that Shaq will be healthy and more motivated when he moves to the desert. For the three-plus seasons since Steve Nash came to town, the Suns have been fan favourites. But they have consistently fallen short in the playoffs, never making it to the finals. The Suns have the best record in the West (34-14) but have not played up to their own expectations. Their interior defense is among the NBA's worst. Kerr apparently felt that without a large presence inside, Phoenix could not combat the big men, such as Andrew Bynum and Tim Duncan, in the playoffs. With O'Neal on the court, Stoudemire can play his more natural power forward position. O'Neal's move west adds fuel to the already intense rivalry between the Suns, the Lakers and his old teammate Kobe Bryant.

Shaq entered this season talking about how he wanted to win at least one more title, saying his "legacy" wouldn't be complete unless he left the game with at least five rings.

"The first thing to winning a championship is the belief you can do it," O'Neal said. "Now I think these guys really believe they can do it. The sun will rise in Phoenix."
Photo: Discogs

This is a tough move for me to take as well. As a kid, I dribbled around my elementary school gym, warming up to the "music" on Shaq's rap CD's. Back in 1992, I loved the guy. He was the first overall pick in the NBA draft that year, taken by the Orlando Magic after playing at Louisiana State University. He went to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 and was traded to Miami in 2004. In these more recent years, Shaq hasn't been one of my favourite NBA superstars. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of his attitude or his arrogance.
Here are some trade reactions.
I suppose only time will tell whether or not this was a smart move for Phoenix. In the meantime, I have offered to lend Kristina all of my Shaq CD's so that she can brush up on his rap tunes (*cough* yes, I do own all of them *cough*) . The sooner she starts supporting our newest player, the better, hehe. Plus, it sounds like his rap skills might be his bigger strength right now. Shaq, who turns 36 next month, attended Wednesday night's game when the Suns lost to New Orleans in double overtime but he isn't expected to be in uniform for at least a couple of weeks.


mike d. said...

never have been able to stand shaq. guy is a tool. hope nash can keep him in line. just don't think it makes sense to put the slug in the middle of a the suns fast guys. if he even recovers from injury enough to play this season. pfft.

Anonymous said...

Do you want me to vomit... YEAH!!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Shaq is even still playing. I always make comments when I see him on TV and I think my boyfriend gets annoyed. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks he's a tool!

BTW, I'm a Blazer fan myself. Portland, baby!

Tawcan said...

I think it's a good trade. Suns have no chance in the middle against Western great teams like the Spurs and Mavs. We'll see how it works out.

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

I remember when shaq was tryign to do the acting thing, remember shazzam or whatever? too funny!

Jennifer Stoddart said...

I have to respond to my good friend Cindy B. who didn't know how to post a comment with her name- she's the "anonymous" commenter on this post...Cindy B. -one of my favourite basketball memories is you rapping Shaq's tunes on the bus to our tournaments...haha! You never were a Shaq fan!

Jen: Oh my God! Shaq as a genie, right? So funny!!

Chuck said...

That's awesome you are a Sun's fan. I'm from Phoenix and was back in town last week and went to the game where Shaq stood up and pointed to his ring...unbelievably awesome