This will be the first full year Shaquille O'Neil will be with the Phoenix Suns after a disappointing playoff run last season.
Does Shaq have another championship in him before he retires, or did he go to Phoenix simply because of the nice weather and amazing golf courses?
When Shaq was introduced to Phoenix, I remember sitting in the stands listening to the cheers and comments of what a great addition he will be to the Suns. The problem was after a short playoff run, the cheering stopped and negative comments soon filled the stands.
With the Suns holding the number-one seat in the West, General Manager Steve Kerr decided that Phoenix needed some help on defense, because opposing teams would constantly score 90-plus points per game.
The Suns and D'Antoni had a good system going where they would focus on offense and outscore the other team. This seems like a simple enough concept, and was actually working very well for the starting lineup of the Suns.
Despite the the Suns' record, Kerr decided to go against that good old saying our grandpas told us, "if it aint broke, dont fix it." Kerr's solution was to bring the Diesel into town and add that needed big man to the run-and-gun Suns team.
Don't get me wrong—Shaq is a very reputable player and has a lot of playoff experience. I also think Shaq deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and is a great player to have on a team when it comes to morale.
However, Shaq was not the addition the Suns needed, nor was he the answer to their playoff worries. If anything, he might have been the reason the Suns did not advance as far as they might have with former Sun Shawn Marion in the rotation. For example, the start of the oh-so-famous Hack-a-Shaq, and his inability to make a needed free throw.
As for this season, I do not see the Suns and what was supposed to be Shaq's added defense going very far. With new coach Terry Porter playing rookies for half of the game, you can't expect veterans like Shaq, Nash, and Hill to really click with these guys and have a successful season. The word last season was give the team a chance to vibe and they will get it—but with constant changes in the Suns' lineup and coaching staff, Shaq would be better off on the putting greens.
I think it was a good effort for the big guy, but I was against the trade for Shaq from the start. Between last season and this season, I may just get proved right.
Shaq has had a very notable career and will remain one of the best big men in basketball. He will forever be remembered for his backboard-shattering dunk. Let's just hope he can go out with style and on top.
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