|Shaq turned down more money for C’s||09.09.10 at 9:39 am ET|
Shaquille O’Neal really wanted to sign with the Celtics. He told John Reid of the New Orleans Picayune that he could have signed higher offers from either the Pistons or the Hawks to join the C’s.
“A lot of people said I only got the league minimum salary,” O’Neal said. “But that’s all right. I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I’ve had four max contracts in one lifetime, I don’t care about that little million. Did I want $10 million? I’m always going to put the number high. I could have gotten $8 million from Atlanta and Detroit, but it wasn’t about that. It was about being somewhere and being seen and winning.”
Shaq also said that his two-year deal with the Celtics would be his last in the NBA.
|Shaq calls out Cavs, Mo Williams||09.04.10 at 5:07 pm ET|
There was a time when being a role player would not have sat well with Shaquille O’Neal. That time has passed.
In a recent interview with the Times-Picayune, O’Neal explained that he now looks forward to playing for an unselfish ball club, even if it means less time on the court.
“I’m at the point in my life where I can’t carry a team by myself anymore, but I can be a piece on a team that’s already good,” he said. “The Celtics are good with or without me. A lot of people say, ‘How can I be a complementary player?’ But at 38, it’s easy. If I was 28, it would be a problem, Doc.”
O’Neal called out his most recent team, the Cavaliers, for their approach on offense. He singled out one former teammate in particular.
“I like that they (the Celtics) play together and nobody really worries about shots,” O’Neal said. “When I was with Cleveland, guys who couldn’t even play were worried about shots. Why was Mo (Williams) taking 15 shots, and I’m only taking four? If LeBron takes 20 shots, that’s cool.
“So I said, let me get with a good team for the last two years. I don’t mind people calling me a journeyman. I’ve been programmed to move around every three years.”
O’Neal averaged a career-low 8.7 shots per game last season. LeBron James led the Cavs with 20.1 field goal attempts. In contrast, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 12.1 attempts each.
O’Neal also added that he had been interested in the Hawks and Hornets before signing with the Celtics.
|Shaq nets cameo in new Sandler movie||08.31.10 at 10:20 am ET|
According to a report in thewrap.com, Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal will appear as himself in the upcoming Adam Sandler comedy “Jack and Jill.”
O’Neal will have a small cameo in the film, which co-stars Sandler and Katie Holmes.
|Ortiz ‘fine’ with Shaq as ‘Bigger Papi’||08.22.10 at 5:30 pm ET|
David Ortiz knows nicknames.
So what does the Red Sox slugger think of sharing his own with another star athlete in Boston?
Among the suggestions for newly-signed Celtic Shaquille O’Neal is “Bigger Papi,” a spin-off of Ortiz’s moniker. Big Papi wouldn’t mind.
“He’s a big dude,” Ortiz said of the 7-1, 325 pound center. “It’s not a big deal. It’s fine.”
O’Neal’s new nickname has been a topic of debate since the big man signed with the Celtics this summer. His past aliases include Big Diesel, Shaq Fu, The Big Aristotle, and Shaqtus when he played for the Suns.
Boston-themed nicknames up for debate range from the Big Shamrock and Green Monster to the Big Leprechaun and Jolly Green Giant.
After 18 years in the NBA, Ortiz thinks O’Neal’s name speaks for itself.
“I think he’s got a good name,“ Ortiz said. “I don’t think he needs to change it. [I’d call him] ‘Big Shaq’ so people know who they’re talking about.”
Ortiz, an avid Celtics fan, has never met O’Neal but plans to do so this season. He believes O’Neal will make a big impact for the Celtics … no matter what his nickname is.
“I think it’s going to be a good addition to the team,” Ortiz assessed. “I’m pretty sure the 15, 20 minutes that he plays are going to be good.”
|Pierce talks Pacquiao, ‘greatest athlete to ever live’||08.17.10 at 12:11 am ET|
When Paul Pierce isn’t battling on the court, he enjoys watching battles in the ring. Elie Seckbach from AOL FanHouse recently caught up with the boxing fan, who says Manny Pacquiao is the “best pound-for-pound boxer in the world” and shares who he considers to be “the greatest athlete to ever live.” (Watch to the end to get former Celtic/Laker Rick Fox’s take on Shaq in green.)
Click here for more on the Celtics special relationship with Pacquiao.
|Shaq and the bench question||08.10.10 at 3:02 pm ET|
On the day he was introduced as Celtic, Shaquille O’Neal artfully maneuvered around the question of whether or not he will start at center next season.
“There will be an O’Neal on the floor,” Shaq said referring to himself and Jermaine O’Neal, the Celtics other key free agent center acquisition. Shaq went on to say that it didn’t matter to him who started.
In the days leading up to the signing, Doc Rivers was brutally honest with Shaq about his playing time, about his motives and whether he would accept coming off the bench.
“I told him there was not 30 minutes on this team,” Rivers said. “There will be 20-25 minutes. I asked him if that was OK because that’s the only way it will work. We talked about coming off the bench. It’s very important when you get a guy like Shaq to be up front and honest and tell him where you see he’ll be. If he can accept that he’ll fit our mold.”
Rivers would prefer for Shaq to come off the bench because it would give the second-unit a low-post scorer, something it hasn’t had since Leon Powe was healthy. Rivers prefers to set his lineups and stick with them, but this lineup could present some interesting possibilities.
“I think that Shaquille and Jermaine could play together,” Danny Ainge said. “I think Jermaine and [Kevin Garnett] can play together. One of the things I like is there are interchangeable pieces. Glen Davis and Shaq can play together, Glen Davis and Jermaine can play together. Any of those four combinations can play well together.”
The Celtics contacted Shaq’s representatives on July 1, but weren’t sure that he would agree to their terms. They still didn’t know how it would play out until last week when Shaq’s people told Ainge that they were ready to sign and do it on the Celtics terms. That last part is key to making it work in a locker room with more than its share of outsized personalities.
” The reason we’re bringing in these personalities is because we have a pretty solid locker room with KG, Paul and Ray.,” Rivers said. “We did it last year with Rasheed [Wallace] and now we’re trying to do wit with Shaq. There’s no guarantees though. There never is. Chemistry is a delicate thing. This has to be about the Celtics and it has to be winning. If there’s any other motives or agendas… I was very honest with him, that’s why he’s here.”
|Slide Show: Shaquille O’Neal Press Conference||at 2:09 pm ET|
WALTHAM — WEEI.com’s traditional slideshow format has been hijacked by the Big Diesel, and as such, we give you the Shaq Show. The 38-year-old center was introduced to Boston and the media on Tuesday, and everything from Shaq’s bow-tie to his excitement as he held up his No. 36 was certainly something worth checking out again. All photos are courtesy of WEEI.com photographer John Vu. Click on the image below to begin the slideshow.