Shaq Hate Continues to Pour out of Phoenix

shaq-tmzI took the Steve Nash-Shaq Vs. news with a grain of salt.  I tend to do that when regional papers report on things that tend to look a bit like sour grapes.  You know the deal by now as we have seen it for years from the New York Post regarding LeBron.  The WSJ article from a few days ago could be seen either way.  Sure, these guys haven’t been traveling together, but again, who does?  But the latest article to come out out Phoenix?  Well, let’s just say that someone isn’t too happy with the way things ended with the Big Cactus.

When Shaq came to the Suns in February 2008, he promised to fit in. He said he knew his role, and understood the team’s run of heartbreak. He said he was sent here to shape Amaré Stoudemire into a Hall of Fame player. Like a kind giant, he vowed to push Phoenix over the top. It was all about us, not him, and everyone cheered. Everyone loves a bully when he’s on your side, protecting you.

Yet in his first full season with the team, he cared so little about team chemistry, team harmony and the team leader that he blatantly swiped Nash’s idea. That’s almost as bad as stealing money out of another guy’s locker.

The article goes on to discuss that O’Neal is no longer “Superman.” Continued to dig up how things went with Kobe Bryant. You know, before they “made up.” All things in the past, that are likely to continue – per the author.

Grouped with Michael Jordan over Ehlo, the recent drubbings from the Steelers and the misfortunes of the mid-1990s Indians, there seems to be the feeling that the Shaquille O’Neal addition will be nothing but a letdown to the fans of Cleveland.

Do we have a blind eye through all of this? Bill Livingston discussed the reality show Shaq Vs. this morning, but we have not heard much of O’Neal’s past antics discussed around these parts. Is it because we think that things are somehow going to be different here? Are we drinking the cool-aid (per se) with the “Win a Ring fot the King” talk? 

Or are all of those publishing these pieces simply assuming that Cleveland will continue on without a championship for yet another season.

After all, it isn’t that far-fetched…

Cleveland, beware of Shaq the Hack [Arizona Republic]

  • mgbode

    Shaq makes us a better team…

    even if he only plays 50 games + playoffs.
    even if he disrupts the chemistry a little.

    Now, those that view the Shaq trade as a letdown if we do not win the championship, there are too many other factors to let in. We have to contend with LA, SA, Boston, Orlando at the very least. Possibly, Portland and Denver will be ready to take the next step and you never know about Utah as long as Sloan is there.

    So, there is always the possibility that we are a better team and still don’t win the championship.

    For all these deragatory articles written during the dead-period of the NBA off-season….Yaawwwnnnn. They mean little to nothing and are all basically similar spins off the same tired storylines that cannot have an answer until the season starts.

  • Cribbage

    I love all the comments and blurbs being written about how Shaq didn’t fit in Phoenix, so now he won’t fit in with the Cavs. It’s like some beat writers or regional fans don’t pay any attention to anything outside of their own teams.

    Any discerning NBA fan new right away that Shaq in Phoenix wouldn’t work because of their style of offense, which is uptempo run and gun. We play a half court offense that Shaq generally excels at. I’m not saying it’s going to work flawlessy, but I don’t buy the argument that he’s going to be the square peg in a round hole that he was in Phoenix.

  • Isis

    We all know this isn’t the Shaq of 1997. We’re not blind to the fact that Shaq is 37 and has had his share of injuries. That said, the big man played almost the entire season last year including earning an all-star spot. He LED the league in field goal percentage (60%). He’s a big man with a big personality, and still has motivation and some gamesmanship left in the tank. Danny Ferry & co. analyzed all of this, and you can bet reviewed with LBJ. Shaq not only makes the Cavs better, provides the presence sorely needed; but also comes with a championship pedigree. Most importantly, he’s got something to prove. This is totally Cleveland’s gain, and let’s enjoy it.

    What’s coming out of Phoenix should be expected. Instead of taking ownership, it’s easier to blame a departed player and bash him on the way out. It’s happened here in Cleveland as well. Let me cry all they want, we’ll take Shaq off their hands.

  • Omega King

    I wanted the Shaq trade to happen at the deadline last year. I wanted it to happen this offseason. I’m happy to have him in Cleveland and look forward (not something I often do for Cleveland teams) to this season because I think it will be (wait for it…) fun to watch.

    Go Cavs!

  • Swig

    My thoughts on Shaq “fitting in”

    Lakers w/ Kobe – Do you really think Shaq was the big problem?
    Heat w/ Wade – Think that worked out pretty well
    Suns w/ Nash – “problem”

    Seems like a huge non-story to me. It’s not shaq’s fault that Kerr made a questionable (at best) trade.

  • Mark_CHI

    The sports media tends to overrate the importance of team chemistry. Last year, the Cavs probably led the league in feel-good team chemistry stories (They go out to dinner! They pose for fun team photos before tip-off!) They had a great season, but they still lost.

    On the flip side, the Lakers won the championship with a cryptic, messianic coach and probably the least-liked superstar in the league. Would anybody be able to stand Kobe Bryant if he weren’t his teammate?

    Chemistry’s not as important as it’s cracked up to be. Talent is, and the Cavs undeniably got more talented this off-season, while Detroit and Orlando ran in place.

  • ben

    Shaq v. Nash is a non-story. I’ve had that idea to. In fact, so did the rest of the world. It was called “The Superstars.” There’s a reason the show didn’t get made w/ Nash – no one would watch it.

    People watch Shaq – so the show got made w/ him. W/e it’s all sour grapes IMO. We know Shaq’s old. We want him to help us get a ring, then retire. We know that. He knows that.

  • Chris M


  • Brian

    Shaq’s show was not good. They should’ve made like a half-hour, had an actual competition of some kind, and then like there are bikini girls also and they’re doing their cool dancing.

    I dunno – maybe kids liked it.

  • DKH

    ben – Nash has some pretty good media savvy, even if he’s not as big an icon as Shaq. The show in its current construction is definitely relying on Shaq’s entertainment value. I would bet a show with Nash would, while still maintaining some fun, be more insightful into the training and process of an athlete. I might even enjoy it more. Right now it drags and there is virtually no insight; it depends on Shaq and exists to glorify him.


    As for Shaq in Phoenix: there was unease in Phoenix both with respect to the prior situation (of winning 54-62 games per season and losing in the playoffs) and with the Shaq trade. A lot of people liked the run and gun, but the message from outside of Phoenix was that they were never going to win a title with it. (Personally, I think they could have won a title, and had a good chance a couple years, but injuries and refs intervened. It takes a lot of luck to win a championship.)

    So there were a lot of opinions, but on one was satisfied with having an entertaining team that conventional wisdom said wouldn’t win championships. The big moves, then, were the Shaq trade and the hiring of Terry Porter. Shaq may not have fit into run and gun very well, but that was never what Terry Porter wanted to do. But the team was built for run and gun (other than Shaq), and things just went downhill. Overall, the Terry Porter/Kerr partnership probably deserves as much blame for things as Shaq does, if not more.

    Phoenix also doesn’t have anyone with the force of personality to balance Shaq. Nash is a good leader of those who want to follow, but that’s not really who Shaq is. One difference in Cleveland is that this is LeBron’s team, and the players will likely be looking to LeBron because they have a history with him. LeBron is also a bigger personality and a different leader than Nash is.

  • Brandon

    So Nash is bent because Shaq Vs. was his idea?? Was it his idea for it to be Shaq or himself? Because if his idea was that it should be Shaq then I would think he’d be happy he took his advice. If Nash’s idea was to have a show called Nash Vs, then I can see him being a little bent — however, if you don’t want anyone to steal your idea, then you shouldn’t tell anyone … or only people who you know very well. I’ll give Shaq the benefit of the doubt here — if Nash wanted to do this, then why didn’t he?

  • Edman

    Shaq had no motivation with Phoenix… Now Kobe has as many rings as him, and I sincerely believe he wants another one more than ever.