When the Cleveland Cavaliers traded for Shaquille O’Neal before the start of the 2009-10 season, it was certainly met with mixed reviews. But whether it was ever really the smartest move or if it was instead a reactionary move meant only to deal with the Orlando Magic, the fact remains that Shaq represented a symbol of hope in Cleveland.
Fans here in Cleveland were smart enough to know that the Cavaliers were not getting THE Shaquille O’Neal. No, they were getting the watered down version. But still, the hope was that pairing Shaq and LeBron would be enough. That it would be just the push the team needed to get over the hump.
Of course that never happened. Instead, Shaq was injured for most of his tenure in Cleveland and the Cavaliers never got a shot at revenge with the Magic, instead flaming out spectacularly against the Boston Celtics in the 2nd round. That was the painful end of the great LeBron James era in Cleveland.
A lot will probably be written in the future about LeBron James. I expect a time will come when books will be written explaining more about The Decision, and LeBron’s meltdown against the Celtics, and other less than scrupulous rumors flying around town. Nothing that scandalous has been written now, but still, Shaquille O’Neal has written a book that gives us our first real look behind the curtain in Cleveland. [Read more...]