The Big Witness: Shaq's Quest for a Fifth Ring

James WongCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2009

Shaq, The Diesel, Shaq Fu, The Big Aristotle, The Big Daddy, The Big Cactus, The Big Shaqtus, the NBA's original "man of steel" Superman and now the "Big Witness".

Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal has gone by many nicknames in his illustrious and dominant eighteen year NBA career, but one thing has remained certain over the years.

O'Neal was, and is, the most dominant center the NBA has ever seen. His combination of size, mobility, athleticism, strength and deceptive quickness is unlike anything the NBA has ever seen, and even Dwight Howard does not come close to encompassing O'Neal's physical capabilities when at the peak of his career. 

His recent trade to Cleveland for virtually nothing seems destined to put the Cavaliers over the top and bring the franchise their first-ever NBA championship. But before praising O'Neal and showering LeBron with countless fan mail about how fortunate and lucky he is to have Shaq in his corner, let's take a look back to see who has truly been in favour of the basketball Gods. 

Perhaps the luckiest party from this trade is not the Cleveland Cavaliers or LeBron James, (and certainly not the Phoenix Suns) but the self-proclaimed "Big Witness" himself. 

O'Neal won three championships with Kobe Bryant (the 2009 Finals MVP), a single championship with Dwyane Wade (the 2009 scoring champion) and is now joining forces with LeBron James, who is arguably the best all-around player since Jordan himself. 

This trifecta of superstar guards also happens to be the three best players in the world today and know all about winning. Over the last decade Kobe, LeBron and Wade have combined to make eight appearances in the Finals, at least one of their teams making the Finals over the past four consecutive years. 

That exclusive list, dripping with basketball greatness and legacy doesn't even include O'Neal's other elite teammates like Anfernee Hardaway, Steve Nash, Karl Malone, Amare Stoudemire or Gary Payton. 

His teaming with LeBron James potentially makes the Cavaliers the most dangerous team in the league, and if Mo Williams, Delonte West, Daniel 'Boobie Gibson and recently acquired veteran Anthony Parker can hit their shots a championship may not be far off. 

So when it's all said and done and the Diesel is rocking his fifth NBA championship ring to sleep let's hope he remembers who got the best out of this trade. The Big Witness himself..


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