Wednesday, August 04, 2010

It’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T with Shaq

Conventional wisdom has it that the causes of Shaquille O’Neil having a problem with finding a team for the upcoming season other than a chance at another NBA championship are money and playing time. Really? I haven’t exactly seen reports of Shaq declaring bankruptcy anytime soon. And if he can’t secure significant playing time competing against the likes of Miami Heat centers Jamaal Magloire, Zydrunas Ilgauskus, Joel Anthony (who?), and Dexter Pittman (who?)

As important as if not more so than the material pleasures they bring, money and playing time are measures of your alpha-maleness. In Miami, Shaq would merely be a sideshow to the LeBron-Wade-Bosh AAU All-Star Tour. Boston may not be able to offer the money. And when Kendrick Perkins comes back, his minutes are likely to shrink dramatically, since he cannot slide to the four spot. But the Celtics can offer dignity. Everyone, from the aging future hall-of-famers to the towel waver at the end of the bench (and Brian Scalabrine on the bench) is treated right—by Danny Ainge, Doc, teammates, the fans, the Boston media…

Boston will not shell out the big money, Boston does not offer good prospects for serious playing time. But the Celtics will give its players respect. Speaking as a guy, it makes sense for Shaq.

I just learned that Shaq is working toward his PhD. Do I hear R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

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