Shaquille O’Neal is not the player he used to be.
He’s had a long run in the NBA and hasn’t quite figured out how to end it.
No longer is he the NBA’s Superman. The Diesel’s tank is running low.
Celtic fans are high on this move by GM Danny Ainge, but they will regret it.
Here are 10 reasons why Shaq will be the Celtics’ cancer.
The big man has never been able to hit the clutch free throws. If the game is close and you need someone to foul, you grab Shaq and put him on the line. Hack-a-Shaq, the best way to get back into the game.
His giant hands clash with the basketball on the long-range shots, especially with free throws. Shaq throws brick after brick on what is supposed to be the easiest shot in basketball.
It’s you and the hoop. But Shaq can’t handle it.
His career free throw percentage is .527. Last year’s average was a weak .496. The simplest shot in the game and you’re barely over five hundred. Terrible.
Shaq has suffered numerous injuries and could potentially get another. Yes, anyone is susceptible to injuries when playing the game, but it’s close to a guarantee with Shaq.
He’ll miss quite a bit of games for Boston and will ultimately hurt them along the way. It will take him much longer to recover and rehab than in years past.
Nowadays you can’t depend on O’Neal to be ready for the long haul of the season.
The Celtics lost Rasheed Wallace to retirement. And with him goes one of the sweetest big man shots from beyond the arc. And in comes Shaq…no way he can replace that.
You lose a guy who could shoot a clutch three. Wallace could stretch the defense out with his ability to hit the trifecta.
Boston gains a guy who is 1-22 in his career from downtown. That’s a .045 three-point percentage.
Shaq, a lock for the 3-point contest.
The Celtics like to run an uptempo game. Point guard Rajon Rondo is quick and agile. He’s able to split the defenders and make plays. Now he’ll have to do all that and maneuver around Shaq.
His 325-pound body is too much to run up and down the court. He’ll slow the Celtics down just like he did in Phoenix.
O’Neal disrupts Boston’s flow of play. Doc Rivers will have to adjust his team’s style of play to fit Shaq, which will be their downfall.
Shaq can bring entertainment to a team. However, with that he brings baggage. The media will be all over Shaq and the Celtics all season long.
They’ll be watching and waiting for Shaq’s antics. They’ll be quick to point fingers and judge him on the outcome of games. Shaq’s media attention will be a nightmare for Doc Rivers.
The addition of Shaquille O’Neal to the Celtics adds one more diva to the locker room. You would think you’re headed to Diva World Tour 2010 once you step foot in the TD Garden.
Shaq is too into himself to help this team. Yes, he’s okay with being a role player, but the only role he’s playing is team destroyer.
He’ll be too preoccupied Tweeting or thinking of ideas for "Shaq Versus." Next up, Shaq’s ego vs. Paul Pierce’s ego. An epic battle of diva-ness.
Doc Rivers has to manage not only those two, but KG and Ray Alenn. He’ll be curling into the fetal position by season’s end, and ready to retire.
Shaq is 38 years old.
He’s been in the NBA for 18 seasons. That’s a tremendous amount of experience.
But the Celtics don’t need experience. Their Big Three has plenty of it, and after last year’s Finals, Rondo gained an abundance too.
He’s won titles, so that isn’t the reason he’s still around. The game has changed and is too quick for the big guy.
Is Shaq really ready to play? He spends his offseason making TV shows and threats via Twitter (he wants to box Jim Rome).
He is much older and is less concerned with basketball. Hence, the reason he is fine with being a role player. He knows he isn’t as good as he once was. So then why try, right?
If he does try, it’s not to help the Celtics. It’s to spite the new Big Three down in South Beach. Which is not the best of motivation and could end up hurting the Celtics.
It’s declining. He’s played an average of 57 games per season since 2005. His average of minutes per game has decreased from close to 40 a game in his early years to struggling to reach 30.
His points and rebounds per game have diminished over the years as well. Once a star player averaging a double-double all season, he now struggles to reach double digits in either category.
Change is a part of life. And the change going on in Shaq’s life is hard for him to deal with. That is his change of skills.
He’s no longer a powerhouse force in the paint. He’s an old bald guy you get on the cheap to ride the bench and make you laugh.
And that doesn't help you win championships.
You might ask yourself why this is bad. Well, Shaq used to be a Laker, which are the Celtics' biggest rival. He used to be booed on sight by Bostonians. And now, they accept him like it's nothing.
They believe they’re getting a big man who can help them. But that isn’t the case; they’re just getting a big man.
Shaq is a big man who will be the disease of the Celtics this season, and they will not repeat as Eastern Conference Champions. And the fans will turn back to booing.