NBA Draft What If Part 3: The Toss For Shaq

Gabe MamboContributor IIIMay 24, 2009

13 Feb 1996: Center Shaquille O'Neal of the Orlando Magic looks on during a game against the Denver Nuggets played at the Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida. The Magic won the game, 121-93.

This is a continuation of my what-if articles inspired by the recent NBA Draft Lottery that just happened and what it would be like if it didn't exist at all.

I enjoyed hearing about Shaq. That was the only name I knew him by. Shaq.

Of course, anyone with a brain would realize his full name was Shaquille O'Neal. Also, anyone with a brain would know not to make the 7'2", 300+ pound giant angry. You'd just hope that he dunked on you and made you look silly; It's just what he did.

I admired seeing Shaquille O'Neal in his Orlando Magic jersey. People were probably more excited when they saw him in his Lakers uniform tough. With the Lakers, he found more success than ever, winning three consecutive NBA championships, and one MVP award before being traded to Miami. There he won an NBA title-again-thanks to his work with Dwayne Wade and a loaded Heat bench.

Still, we basketball fans can never forget about the Magic days. Shaquille O'Neal was the most sensational player not named Michael Jordan in my opinion.

When you hear about Michael Jordan, you hear about God in ways. You can't elaborate more than that.

When you hear about Shaq, you hear about this great player who could dominate the paint without breaking a sweat. This guy needed the whole starting five to stop him in college, and needed to be hacked so his weakness, free throw shooting, could be exploited.

Other than that, Shaquille O'Neal was unstoppable.

The Orlando Magic were lucky to have gotten him.

The NBA Draft Lottery didn't go wrong in 1992; the Magic were last in the Atlantic Division with a record of 21-61, the worst record in the Eastern Conference. As a matter of fact, if the coin toss was still implemented, the Magic would be one of the two teams crossing its fingers for the diesel.

Still what if the coin toss was still around?

If so, the Minnesota Timberwolves would have had a stake to claim for O'Neal. They had the league's worst record at 15-67.

In the eyes of some, it would only seem fair. The T-Wolves had the league's worst record, for one. That's always something that should merit the top pick.

On top of that, the Timberwolves center situation was wreaking havoc. The best center the Timberwolves had was Felton Spencer, who averaged 6.6 ppg, and 4.2 rebounds a game.

The Timberwolves drafting Shaq would have alleviated the mediocre stock of centers. In the long run, Minnesota wouldn't have needed to draft Kevin Garnett, although that would have been a great addition if possible.

Minnesota would have turned into a legit playoff contender, if not a championship contender with Shaq.

If the T-Wolves had gotten Shaw then the Magic would have to settle for Alonzo Mourning, not bad, if you ask me.

I won't elaborate on some history changing tirade, apparently, it's random and weird.

Just think about the possibilities, and how excellent they could have been if they had been decided by the flip of a coin.


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