Shaq In The Shadows

Updated: February 9, 2008


Shaq Warrior


We’re not here to do an in Depth Analysis of the O’Neal trade or the Suns’ prospects for remainder of this season Others are doing that at BASN and beyond. Our beat is the Larger Issues buried deep in this kind of development. How quickly Miami tired of the SuperStar hyped to the Heavens upon his arrival in South Florida just two years ago. And how Shaq and indeed Basketball are trying to squeeze every last bit of value out of an Aging Warrior.

Get this from the Suns’ official physician who examined Shaq He said ” 7-foot-1 O’Neal weighed 321 pounds, carried 11 percent body fat and showed minimal arthritis for a 35-year-old man of his size. There’s no reason he can’t get back to playing a high level from a structural standpoint.” He said,” the hip injury that has sidelined O’Neal was as good as could be expected, because the tightness was in his soft tissue.”

WOW isn’t that re-assuring The fact is O’Neal is an Old Man in basketball years. He may have left LA “under duress” so to speak meaning Kobe Bryant. But the reality is he knew he had ONE more chance to make the Big Bucks convincing another franchise Miami that he could be the player to win them a Championship which he did sort of.

But a year and one-half later the team and the fans were only too glad to see Shaquille packing because he had no more to offer. He is not the Bionic Man especially not carrying around 321 pounds day after day. That is why he is really gone to the Suns. They could afford to lose the two players they gave up.

Yes Shawn Marion because the Suns like the Heat before them hope to squeeze one last “miracle” out of Shaq. Suns’ president Steve Kerr and coach Mike D’Antoni believe as the Heat successfully for one year anyway that Shaq will generate an imperceptible something that takes them all the way. Shaq huffing and puffing down the Court.

The point is that IF O’Neal does not “produce” an NBA Championship for Phoenix’ Suns this season he is even far less likely next year less the season after. Indeed there is little chance Shaq will still be playing in 2010. By then he will be so diminished will the Suns or anyone else keep him as a Bench Player. Will Shaq do that ! And the usual disclaimer applies here ” he does not need the money he’s rich.”

So what is the Point That it will be very interesting for all Sports Fans certainly Basketball Fans to watch the Suns closely during the remainder of the season and in the Play-offs for the same reason Phoenix made the Trade. To watch what impact Shaquille O’Neal has. To follow his game performances to see if he rises to the Occasion once again despite the Odds he will not. Or watch him disintegrate before our eyes. Because unlike in Miami where he was fading into Obscurity with low expectations for the 9-39 Heat or O’Neal in Miami …..

Now again All Eyes will be on Shaq and sitting on the Bench Father Time