Picture this: the continent of Europe, basketball, and Shaquille O’Neal having something in common. That could very well be the case if things pan out. According to yesterday’s Pardon the Interruption, Shaq is testing the European waters for more money.
Here’s what I think of this. Shaq is getting old and becoming more vulnerable. European basketball might provide a better living and a bigger paycheck, but does Shaq have another season in him? Didn’t he spend some time on the injured list for Cleveland?
Let’s go through a little history of Shaq. He’s been in the pros since 1992 after being the Number 1 overall pick and has played for five teams. His career begin with the Orlando Magic and was becoming one of the most dominant centers in the game, obtaining the Rookie of the Year during the 1992-1993 season. As a free agent, he signed with the Lakers and won three straight rings in 2000, 2001, and 2002 with Kobe Bryant.
Of course that relationship turned sour, and O’Neal was traded to Miami and won his fourth championship in 2006. After a quick trip through Phoenix, Shaq was traded to Cleveland and was to “Win a Ring for the King.” Well, that winning a ring didn’t happen thanks to the Celtics of Boston. That leads us to right now.
I should also mention his rapping career in the 1990’s as his first album Shaq Diesel went platinum, how he starred in movies such as Kazaam, and had a video game named Shaq Fu, but that’s not important.
You might be wondering why I’m talking about someone looking to play overseas. You see, I go to Wright State and we have had our fair share of players going overseas. Our top points scorer, Bill Edwards (1989-1993), played a few seasons here in the NBA and more over in Europe. Vitaly Potapenko (1994-1996) never played in Europe as a pro but did come from Ukraine, hence his nickname being “The Ukraine Train”. He is now an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers. DaShaun Wood (2003-2007), one of the most exciting players to watch during my time at WSU, has played a few seasons in Italy (I believe he had two years for a million dollars deal). Recent graduate Todd Brown (2006-2010) recently signed with a Dutch team just a few days ago.
My point is there is no shortage of teams in Europe, no shortage of talent. Where would the Shaq Fu fit in? Actually, I don’t think finding a team or a place for him would be the problem. I think Shaq is getting wore down.
According to an article I found online by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, this is very unlikely to happen. However, anything can happen in the world of sports. He might resign with the Cavaliers, he might sign with another team. Only time will tell.
With that being said, we’ll see how it all pans out. It’s definitely a time of rebuilding for the Cavs.