Shaquille O'Neal has long been a dominating force in the National Basketball Association. Today he agreed to terms of a two year deal with the Boston Celtics, marking his third organization in just three years.
With all of his jumping around from team to team lately, in pursuit of another ring to keep up with Kobe Bryant, one must wonder if he is putting his legacy in danger.
Would it have been better for O'Neal to just hang it up after this year? What happens if he fails yet again to win another championship, this time with the Boston Celtics?
There's no questioning the Diesel's dominance in the prime of his career, particularly his time with the Lakers when he and Bryant won three titles in a row. You also have to give him credit for the Heat's championship run.
But as of late, hasn't O'Neal almost seemed like a big leech? First he wants on with Cavaliers to play alongside LeBron James. Then he wanted to follow James and Chris Bosh to Miami, but he was quietly and quickly rejected by the Heat organization. And now he finally lands with the older big three in Boston.
Will basketball fans remember him for his greatness on the court? Or will they remember the ugly ways he left Los Angeles and Miami, trashing both organizations? And what about failing to "get the King a ring"?
Was his time as the "Big Shaqtus" even relevant?
Will they remember his dominance in the paint or his quickness to claim all the credit for championship teams?
O'Neal has left a foul taste in many fans' mouths, especially in the cities of Los Angeles and Miami. His move to Boston certainly can't help his cause in the eyes of the Lakers faithful.
Wait, wasn't it O'Neal who ripped Phil Jackson and deemed him "Benedict Arnold" during his departure from Los Angeles?
My point exactly.
With this latest move to Bean Town, O'Neal better hope that he and the Celtics can win the 2011 NBA title, because if not, there are only going to be more doubters and nay-sayers regarding his place among the league's greats.
At the end of his career, when he finally does retire, O'Neal will go down as one of the best centers to ever play the game. He will, no doubt, be a Hall of Famer, and don't forget he will end his career with at least four rings and a couple of MVP's.
But the question is, how will people remember him?
Can his accomplishments outweigh the drama-filled latter portion of his career?