If Kobe and the Lakers are going to be beaten next season while they attempt to “three-peat”, they will likely run into either last year’s runner-up the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat, or the Orlando Magic. He’s played in Miami, and beat Kobe and the Lakers. He’s played in Orlando, and there is no room for him now that a new Superman has emerged in Dwight Howard. Is there any reason Shaquille O’Neal wouldn’t suit up for the Celtics for the last couple years of his career?
The Celtics are a veteran team, which means people will say they are old and tired for the first half of the season, and then when they move into the late rounds of the Playoffs, people will say it’s their experience that got them there. It happened last season, and Boston barely missed adding their 18th NBA Championship to the history books. It will happen again this season.
There may be no more Rasheed Wallace, but with a pair of O’Neals in the middle, Boston’s defense in the paint would b,e at the very least, one of the best in the league. Even at 38 years old, Shaq is intimidating and changes shots. He might not average a beastly 3.5 blocks per game like he did 18 years ago, but a solid 20-25 minutes a game would be more than sufficient playing with Boston. With Kendrick Perkins out for the early months of the season, the Celtics can use a big man to fill space in the paint. Both Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal will benefit from each others’ playing time.
The Atlanta Hawks are interested, but realistically the pace of the Hawks game isn’t conducive to Shaq’s aging legs. Not to say that Shaq couldn’t contribute in Atlanta, but the Hawks need more than 20-25 minutes per game in the middle. Al Horford is a solid player, but the Hawks would need more from O’Neal than he can contribute at this point in his career.
So if Shaq goes to Boston, he’ll have a good chance at not only beating his old teammates in Miami, but he’ll be on a team that was second best in the league last season and improved on that team. He’d be finishing off a career of feuding with former teammate Kobe Bryant with the team that not only has the most historic rivalry with, but also has one of the best chances at beating them. Doing so could be the perfect ending to Shaq’s storied career and rivalry with Kobe.