KEEVEN KUATE aka DJ KEY
Going into this season, people were starting to wonder whether or not, four-time NBA Champion and three-time NBA Finals MVP Shaquille O'Neal was worth his $21 million that the Phoenix Suns were paying him this year.
Well, two games already this season Shaq has scored 29 points and at least 11 rebounds in Suns victories. I remember watching SportsCenter and seeing the bottom line with those stats, and saying aloud "Really Now?!? Shaq did that." Most people would claim that the trade from the Miami Heat, for All-Star Forward Shawn Marion and Point Guard Marcus Banks, to the Phoenix Suns, did not go in Phoenix's favor. Shaq disagrees and I do too, as he brings his charisma and experiences to Arizona to a franchise that needs someone to bring them over the "hump."
Shaquille O'Neal has had a career like no other, especially with his dominance in the paint over the last 16 years, and lack of dominance at the free throw line. He is also quite the character with the media, and is one of the most lovable or hated players in the NBA. Actually, I can't see how you can hate the man, unless you are a Sacramento Kings fan, San Antonio Spurs fan, Dallas Mavericks fan or Portland TrailBlazer fan, where he has left a lasting mark on those franchises, as he went with his winning ways against these teams in key moments (aka the NBA Playoffs).
So, the question is does he get voted in this year All-Star, 16 years after he was drafted in 1992? Well, there are some factors that will help Shaquille get in the game, and others that won't. Let's break them down real quick:
He plays for the Phoenix Suns and the All-Star Weekend will be in Phoenix, so he gets that home court advantage, maybe (I go to Arizona State so, I plan on covering that game, who knows though, that's a good 2 months from now).
He is currently fourth in the Western Conference in points per game, and 6th in rebounding, and with about three or four centers that are voted on each team, his statistics are worth consideration.
However, we have to remember that it is NBA fans throughout the world that vote for who they would like to see play the game. A player with the name like Shaquille O'Neal, will probably get tons of votes, as in recent years players who were struggling or on the decline of their careers were still getting voted on the team (Hello, Vince Carter).
I say, if Shaq continues to put up numbers and show the NBA Nation that he is a vital part of the Phoenix Suns, he will get on team. He did not make it last year, that was his first time since 1993. I cannot see that happening again, especially since Shaq has been playing well so far this season.
He, at least has my vote, I bet he'll get yours too.