So the Big Aristotle did it.
He once again forced himself out of a town he didn’t want to be in, a town he once professed his love for, and onto another team with what he hopes is a better chance to screw over Kobe—errr, get his fifth ring.
Personally, Shoeless Joe loves anyone who constantly talks about himself in third person, like the Shactus. Oh, and there’s a basketball side to it, too.
So here are 11 reasons why this trade is awesome for Shaq, Cleveland, the NBA, and fans everywhere.
1. It’s a One-Year Rental
There is nothing better in pro sports than the bond between players and their city and fans. What kid growing up doesn’t love knowing that a guy who wasn’t there last year— and won’t be here next year—is here for one year. That way, you can really not get to know the player.
LeBron has one more year in Cleveland, and so does Shaq. You can’t buy that kind of loyalty. Wait, actually, the Cavs just did.
2. Shaq Can’t Defend the Pick-and-Roll
When O’Neal was younger, he just didn’t want to defend it. Now, even if he wanted to, he’s too sluggish.
Luckily for Cleveland, the two other powers in the East only run pick-and-rolls 90 percent of the time. The other 10 percent, Shaq should be fine on D.
3. It’s LeBron’s Team
LBJ-23 is the league's marquee star. If Shaq has proven one thing over his career, it’s that he loves sharing the spotlight. Just not with other players, coaches, or people.
4. Shaq is Dedicated
In LA, he was dedicated to taking breaks during the season.
In Miami, he was dedicated to quitting on the team once they sucked.
In Phoenix, he was dedicated not to adjust to their system.
I’m sure Cleveland can’t wait to see what he’s dedicated to for them.
5. He’ll Love the Heartland
Shaq isn’t one to constantly crave attention by doing movies, chasing endorsements, or hanging at clubs. He enjoys his anonymity, and that’s one of the chief reasons he picked the rust belt.
6. He’s Healthy
For the first time in two years, Shaq says he’s completely healthy. Sure, two years ago he also had his worst year statistically, but that’s a negative way to look at it.
Lots of guys peak in their late 30s. Ask Barry Bonds.
7. He’s Motivated by the Love of the Game
It’s true. And that love of the game includes "being in a contract year," "wanting to stick it to Kobe," and "would love to take credit for LeBron’s ring."
The guy is a throwback.
8. It’s Great for TV
Ask any network broadcaster where they’d rather spend the playoffs: Phoenix or Cleveland. Honestly, I shouldn’t have even brought this up, it’s so obvious.
9. Enhances His Legacy
MJ, Bird, Magic. They all played for one team, and no one even remembers them anymore.
The true way to cement your legacy is to chase rings as a gun-for-hire. People remember that, and respect that.
At least that’s what Robert Horry always tells me.
10. The East is Wide Open
Orlando may be young, but now they’re experienced too. Boston will have a healthy Garnett, and a chip on their shoulder.
The Cavs can practically walk to the Finals!
11. The Shaq Platitudes and Bus-Throwing
Shaq has always had one consistent trait: love what’s in front of him, diss what he left. He loved Kobe and Phil—until he threw them under the bus.
Same with Stan Van Gundy and D-Wade. Soon to be Nash and Amare.
And eventually Cleveland.
I can’t wait to see what I like more: Shaq spewing the brilliance of Mike Brown (during the season), or saying LeBron is overrated (once the Cavs lose in the playoffs).
You know it’s coming; it’s Shaq.
See you at the Q, Shaq. We will all be witnesses.
For more Shoeless Joe Jackson, and articles and videos that spin sports and comedy in ways ESPN isn’t allowed to, check out http://www.dailyballbreakers.com/ (breaking balls every day).