|Shaq on D&C: ‘I would have played for free’ in Boston||09.28.10 at 8:49 am ET|
In an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show, new Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal, who has made no less than $10 million in his last 14 NBA seasons and at least $20 million in his last nine campaigns, said that he had no problem taking a pay cut in excess of 90 percent in order to come to the Celtics. O’Neal signed a two-year deal for approximately $3 million this summer, and he suggested that money was virtually irrelevant in making his decision to join Boston.
“I had other options where the money would have been greater. But this franchise, this team, has a tradition of winning,” O’Neal said. “I’ve been one of the luckiest guys in the history of the game. I’ve had four max deals and one lifetime of play. So money wasn’t an issue. Money will never be an issue. But Danny Ainge had $1 million left, which was the minimum. If I had to, to come here and play, I would have played for free. Doesn’t matter to me.”
O’Neal — who said that he wanted to be called The Big Shamrock while with the Celtics — also discussed whether he will be able to “blend in” in Boston both on and off the court, his bucket list, his experience of last year’s Celtics-Cavaliers playoff series from Cleveland’s perspective and his feelings on Dwight Howard and LeBron James, among several other topics.
A transcript is below. To listen to the complete interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
This is Shaquille O’Neal. Don’t mess with Dennis & Callahan, weekdays from 6-10 on the WEEI Sports Radio Network.
Skip the boring basketball questions. Is Boston big enough for your personality?
I always tell people that I was raised Karate Kid style. My father took me many places as a youngster. I started off in Northern New Jersey, born and raised. Went down south to Hinesville, Ga., then to West Germany, then to San Antonio, Tex. I say that to say that I can blend in anywhere.
You probably can’t blend in.
I can blend in. If people are looking for me in Boston, I’ll be in Sudbury. If you’re looking for the Big Shamrock, he’ll be in Sudbury, in the fields of Sudbury.
You’ve settled on the Big Shamrock?
Yes. The Big Shamrock. Yes.
|Agent: Ex-Celtic House joins Heat||07.29.10 at 12:08 pm ET|
Former Celtics guard Eddie House has reached an agreement to join the revamped Heat lineup, House’s agent Mark Bartelstein told Yahoo! Sports. House was traded from the C’s to the Knicks for Nate Robinson last season. Bartelstein said this week that he had talked to the Celtics about the possibility of the 10-year veteran returning to Boston, but the sharpshooter will take his talents to Miami instead, agreeing to a two-year deal worth a reported $2.8 million.
|Catching up with Glen Davis||07.16.10 at 12:53 am ET|
LAS VEGAS — WEEI.com caught up with Glen Davis while he is training with Joe Abunassar at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas. He talked about the Celtics’ upcoming season, free agent moves, and a new trio in South Beach.
Optimistic Outlook: “I think we’re going to do well [next season]. We have a lot of pieces back. With Ray Allen being back, I’m really happy he came back. I’m also happy that Paul [Pierce] came back. We have KG and then we just added Jermaine O’Neal. There’s a lot of other pieces that we need to put together, but I think Danny [Ainge] and the front office are going to make sure we have the team, the players, and it’s all about just gelling together and making sure it happens.”
“Family” Reunion: “It was great. To see [Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen] come back means a lot. Especially what it means to them, and that’s what it’s all about. We’re family. Everybody knows that. We’ve been together, we’ve been through the ups and downs. We’ve been through the trenches and we’ve just got to make sure we do what we have to do.”
Shrek and Donkey 2.0? “I love Nate [Robinson]. He brings a whole realm to the team that most players can’t bring. I just hope that he finds a place to play, and if it’s not with us, that [stinks], but if it’s with us that’s great. I would love to play with Nate.”
A Big Help: “I’ve known Jermaine [O’Neal] since I was in college. He’s a great player. He’s done a lot of things in the NBA, he’s an All-Star-caliber player, he’s been on that level before. He’s a great post up guy. You can always learn something from him, so I’m glad he’s on our team and he can definitely help us.”
No Sweating the Heat: “They have a Big Three, we have a Big Three. We have players that are capable of making big shots and playing big minutes; they have players that are capable of doing all that. So I’m not really worried about the Miami Heat. They still have to put the team together and make it gel. And that’s what it’s all about — chemistry — and it takes more than three players to win a championship. And everybody knows that. So there’s no worrying. We’re just ready to play.”
|LeBron Watch, 6 p.m.: Decision still unknown||07.08.10 at 6:28 pm ET|
While all the fuss Thursday has centered on LeBron James‘ apparent decision to join the Heat, ESPN’s Ric Bucher recently posted on his Twitter account that the consensus among GMs, agents and league officials is that he will not be going to Miami.
James was, however, spotted Thursday at his basketball camp at Cleveland State University, watching high school stars play in front of college coaches. Those in attendance included Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams and Bob Huggins, to name a few. From there he is headed to the Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, Conn., where his hour-long special will air.
If he were to re-sign with the Cavaliers, rumors abound that it would be a three-year contract. And because of the firestorm James’ decision could have on the people of Ohio, there is reportedly going to be increased police activity in downtown Cleveland.
|LeBron Watch, 4 p.m.: Heat reportedly eye Beasley trade||at 4:25 pm ET|
In order to free up space to sign LeBron James to a max contract of nearly $130 million, the Heat reportedly have been in discussions about a four-way deal with the Raptors, Bobcats and Rockets.
According to ESPN.com, the complicated deal would have Michael Beasley and his $5 million leaving South Beach. Although the Heat could give near-max contracts to James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, getting rid of Beasley would go a long way toward helping reshape their roster.
As news circulates that LeBron James is heading to South Beach to join friends Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh as a member of the Heat, Miami is looking to make more moves to fill out its roster.
FoxSports.com writer Jeff Goodman is reporting that free agent Mike Miller has been offered a five-year deal worth somewhere between $27 million and $30 million, with a deadline of Thursday night for him to accept the offer.
Meanwhile, the Knicks and Cavaliers are holding out hope that LeBron will have a change of heart. WEEI.com’s Kirk Minihane reports that one source claims the Knicks still are confident he will choose the Big Apple.
The Cavaliers are doing their best to make their team more appealing, with rumors circulating that they are pursuing a trade with the Timberwolves involving point guard Jonny Flynn.
|Mannix on D&C: LeBron still wouldn’t make Miami the favorite||at 10:33 am ET|
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated joined guest hosts Bob Ryan and Bob Neumeier on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to weigh in on the LeBron James situation and offer his opinion on the validity of reports that James is headed to Miami.
Following are some highlights. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
On Miami’s position to compete in the Eastern Conference if LeBron joins Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh:
I think next season it would be extremely difficult. Now, I’m convinced that Michael Beasley is going to stay on the roster because they can’t give him away for a ham sandwich. They’re trying to pass him off on every team in the league, which is a little mind-boggling considering that two years ago this guy was the No. 2 pick in the draft. We were arguing about being possibly the No. 1 pick with Derrick Rose. Their willingness to just give him away is a little baffling.
But you make the point, even if those three guys sign, you’re left with Mario Chalmers suddenly becomes the Rajon Rondo of the Miami Heat, where he sort of he’s sort of an unknown commodity and he has to play exceptionally well for them to succeed. But the other problem is they don’t have a Kendrick Perkins equivalent. There’s no center down there. There’s nobody down there. They’re going to have to sign a Mikki Moore to play center for that position. They’re going to have fill up the rest of the roster with veteran minimum salary players.
I think come next year, if maybe Beasley proves himself he can be a trade shipment and you can use that whole mid-level exception to use on one guy and maybe spread it out over two guys, I think that next year they’re in a better position. But I’m not convinced guys that even if those three guys come together — and I’m sure they’re going to win 65 to 70 regular season games — I’m not convinced they’re getting out of the Eastern Conference. I mean, if Boston can get their act together and Kendrick Perkins can come back in the second half of the season and give them something close to what he gave them last year, I think they’re still going to be considered the favorite. I just think they still have enough left in the tank to make one more run and chemistry-wise and talent-wise, I think even though they have all the stock power down there in Miami, I don’t believe they have enough to get past the Celtics or even maybe Chicago in the conference finals. Read the rest of this entry »