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Is Shaquille O’Neal Turkey-bound?

12.08.10 at 12:54 pm ET
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Boston Celtics' Shaquille O'Neal dunks during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Boston, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010.

A Turkish basketball team is reportedly attempting to lure away Shaquille O'Neal. (AP)

So, SLAM Magazine translated a Turkish newspaper story that claims the same team that recently signed Allen Iverson, Besiktas Cola Turka, is targeting Shaquille O’Neal

“Besiktas Cola Turka management has rolled up their sleeves to bring another NBA superstar to Istanbul. Besiktas fans and management, who are very pleased with the arrival of Allen Iverson, have now set their sights on luring Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal overseas.”

According to the story, Iverson’s manager Gary Moore, who is also in “constant contact” with Shaq, “could be an intermediary in securing an agreement” for next season.

I, for one, am not buying it. Sure, this Turkish team might want Shaq on its team. Why wouldn’t they? It would mean millions of dollars in business for them. They probably want LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant to play for them, too.

But Shaq will be under contract for the Celtics next season, and his entire mantra since he arrived in Boston has revolved around getting a fifth — or even sixth — championship ring to cement his legacy. He can’t do that as a member of Besiktas Cola Turka.

UPDATE: Besiktas general manager Seref Yalcin is claiming that Shaq told him, “I want to be champion this season with Boston. But I’m coming to Turkey next year,” according to a website called Hoopsnotes.

Still not buying it. Shaq says al lot of things with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, and I’m guessing something got lost in translation here.

Read More: Allen Iverson, Boston Celtics, NBA, Shaquille O'Neal
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