Archive for August, 2010

O’Neal still has ‘hunger’

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

WALTHAM — A bow tie-wearing Shaquille O’Neal sported an ear-to-ear grin as he sat beside Celtics coach Doc Rivers for his introductory press conference on Tuesday. As forward and new teammate Kevin Garnett overlooked the event from a higher level at the Celtics’ practice facility, the center fielded questions and held up his No. 36 jersey as he is set to become the first player in franchise history to wear the number.

• Why No. 36?

“I’m in my 30s and this is my sixth team,” Shaq said with the smile. He also added he plans to have a clam chowder-eating contest with fellow big man Glen Davis.

• “I’m not sure what they’ll call him yet — the Leprechaun, the Green Monster — I’ve heard all these different things,” Rivers said. “The bottom line is we’re looking at Shaq as another piece of the puzzle.”

• Knowing that he won’t be expected to be as big of a presence as he’s had to be in other stops throughout his 18-year career, O’Neal seems fine with being more of a role player on the Celtics.

“Sometimes in order to win, you have to sacrifice,” said Shaq, who added that at the age of 38, he still has “hunger for the game.”

• The Celtics signed O’Neal last week to a two-year contract worth approximately $3 million. In an offseason in which the team looked to add big men with the signing of Jermaine O’Neal and hoped to make up for the MCL and PCL tears suffered by starting center Kendrick Perkins, Rivers was glad to bring Shaq into the fold.

“We wanted to address an area that we thought was a weekness last year,” said Rivers, who added the Celtics “struggled through Game 7 on the glass.”

• O’Neal, a 15-time All-Star, has totaled 28,555 points and 12,921 rebounds over his 18-year career between the Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns, and Cavaliers. His numbers put him fifth and 14th on the all-time lists for points and rebounds, respectively.

• O’Neil has struggled throughout his career as a free throw shooter, posting a .527 career percentage from the foul line. If the hack-a-Shaq method ends up being a big part of the opponents’ game plans, Rivers is fine with it.

“I think Shaq has the ability to draw fouls,” Rivers said. “If we can get teams in penalty situations … we can take advantage of that. … You need size to win.”

Though the signing of O’Neal in Boston has gotten plenty of attention, the biggest story line has been two of O’Neal’s teammates in Dwyane Wade and Lebron James teaming with Chris Bosh to form a superteam in Miami. For now, Shaq is focused on one team: the Celtics.

“I don’t say anything to that,” O’Neal said of the attention James has gotten this offseason.

O’Neal has won four NBA titles, three of which came with the Lakers and the most recent of which came as a member of the Heat in 2006. He played in 53 games last season for the Cavaliers, scoring 636 points and adding 355 rebounds. His point total was the lowest of his career (for inquiring minds, he had two seasons in which he played less than 53 games prior to 2009-10).

Agent: Wallace is retiring

Monday, August 9th, 2010

According to a blog post at boston.com, the agent for Rasheed Wallace confirmed that the veteran plans to retire. New Celtic Shaquille O’Neal fueled speculation that Wallace might change his mind and play in 2010-11, but apparently the persuading from Shaq and fellow Celtics newcomer Jermaine O’Neal did not work.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge reportedly has been using Wallace’s contract as trade bait, as Ainge has said all along that Wallace would not return to the team.

Shaq takes on crime and Boston accents

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Shaquille O’Neal recently sat down with Vanity Fair Magazine to discuss the second season of his television show, Shaq Vs., and talked about fighting crime, Boston accents and staying focused on next season with the Celtics.

Read a few excerpts below or click here for the entire interview:

What happens if one of your kids comes home from school and says, “Aw pop, I had some chowda today that was wicked awesome?”

That’s when they get grounded.

What do you say when you’re roughing up a perp? “On the floor, dirtbag!” “Book ‘em, Danno!” That kind of thing.

Well, uh. (Long pause.) My job is to be a little girl.

Come again?

I play a little girl on the Internet. So whatever name I’m going by, that will probably be my catchphrase. If I’m Tanya, then it’ll be something like, “Tanya says hello.” And they’ll be like, “Tanya who?” And I’ll say, “You don’t know no Tanya, huh? I’m Tanya. Let’s go.” And that’s when the cuffs get slapped on you.

Are you going to do any undercover police work in Boston?

No, probably not. This is going to be my last year in the NBA, so I really want to concentrate and be focused.

Celtics community roundup

Friday, August 6th, 2010
Avery Bradley helped local families with the Feed the Children program

Avery Bradley helped local families with the Feed the Children program. (Celtics photo)

This week the Celtics took some time out from preparing for next season to give back to the Boston community.

Rookie Avery Bradley was on hand at the State House to help the Celtics and Massachusetts State Lottery honor the 2009-10 Heroes Among Us recipients. Celtics legend Satch Sanders, team co-owner Robert Epstein and Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill also recognized the recipients, whose acts range from saving lives to helping the less fortunate. Over 550 individuals have been presented with the Heroes Among Us award since the program was established by the Celtics 12 years ago.

Later in the week, Bradley, Brian Scalabrine, members of the Celtics organization, and a group of volunteers distributed approximately 40,000 pounds of food and essentials to help local families through Feed The Children (FTC) at the Harborside Community Center in East Boston and the Holland Community Center in Dorchester. FTC’s Americans Feeding Americans Caravan has helped more than 120,000 families in cities affected by the economy.

“I feel very fortunate to be in the position where I can come out into the Boston community and help these families in need,” said Bradley. “Whenever I have the opportunity to donate my time to a great cause like this, I plan on doing it.”

See below for more photos, courtesy of the Celtics.

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Shaq challenges critical TV host to boxing match

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Shaquille O’Neal took to his Twitter feed to lash out at ESPN’s Jim Rome, challenging the talk show host to a boxing match and offering to donate his salary to charity should he lose.

On “Rome is Burning” Wednesday, Rome said the Celtics should not sign the free agent center, insisting O’Neal had not lived up to expectations in his long career that included three championships with the Lakers. Added Rome: “[Shaq] never approached the game with the dedication and discipline of Kobe Bryant,” the former teammate with whom O’Neal had a public feud.

In his response, mixed in among insults, O’Neal challenged Rome to a boxing match at the ESPN studios.

Tweeted Shaq:

Those that dnt respect your hard work, its ok, make em respect u as a person.

If u wanna see shaq box jim rome live on espn. I do if he wins ill donate my salary to a charity of his choice

And forget the back and forth jim rome, I challenge u to a boxing match, live at espn studios, show the world if u can bak up the tuff talk

Jim rome, I am happy with my career and the legacy that I have left behind, obviously u r not happy wit yur legacy I 4got u have no legacy about

Responded Rome on his own Twitter feed:

Really? You’re getting hooked and want to fight a guy with no legacy. You’re better than that. Thx 4 checking in. Bn 2 long.

VOTE: Is Shaq a good fit for C’s?

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

There have been reports that the Celtics front office was not unanimous in its support of the signing of free agent center Shaquille O’Neal. How about the fans? Cast your vote in support of or opposition to the move.

Do you support the Celtics' signing of Shaquille O'Neal?

  • Yes, I love it so much that I'm going to celebrate by watching "Kazaam" (49%, 196 Votes)
  • OK, it's worth the risk, but I have reservations (44%, 178 Votes)
  • Meh, I would have preferred to pass but can live with it (4%, 16 Votes)
  • No, this is the wrong move for the C's (2%, 10 Votes)
  • I don't know, but I like to vote on things (1%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 404

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Look back: Shaq, Celtics teammates before

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

When Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal suit up for the Celtics next season, there will be some familiarity with their new teammates on the court. Both played with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in the 2004 and 2005 NBA All-Star Games.

In 2004, Pierce (Celtics) and Jermaine O’Neal (Pacers) represented the East while Garnett (Timberwolves), Allen (SuperSonics), and Shaquille O’Neal (Lakers) played for the West. Shaq (24 points, 11 rebounds) took home MVP honors as the West won, 136-132, in Los Angeles.

The following year, Shaquille O’Neal changed conferences and joined Pierce and Jermaine O’Neal on the East team as a member of the Heat. Garnett and Allen played for the West. Allen led all players with 17 points and Jermaine O’Neal tied MVP Allen Iverson with 15 for the East. The East won, 125-115, in Denver.

Check out the video of Garnett and Shaq from the 2004 All-Star Game: