There was a time Thursday night when radio stations in Atlanta were reporting that radio stations in Cleveland were saying a deal to sign-and-trade Shaquille O’Neal to the Hawks had been agreed to, according to Eric Knappenberger. Meanwhile, up in Cleveland, radio stations were reporting that radio stations in Atlanta were reporting the deal was done.
No it wasn’t. There will be no deal.
The Atlanta Hawks are not going to sign Shaquille O’Neal unless he wants to play for the minimum, a source told Chris Tomasson at FanHouse. And even then they are not sure. Also, Atlanta is not about to sign-and-trade a starter for Shaq or anyone else.
There are about 8 million Shaq rumors in the naked city, and all of them are coming out of the Shaq camp. His people are touting him. I even heard yesterday at Summer League them pushing he wants to get $8 million a year for two years.
Team representatives? They are not interested. Not at that price or anything near it. Nobody is saying they want Shaq. He still has some usefulness as a player, but as a backup big off the bench playing 20 minutes a night tops. But if you sign Shaq you get the media circus that comes with him, and nobody is really eager to bring that circus to their town, to potentially disrupt their locker room, for what Shaq can bring on the court at this point.
He will land somewhere. He will get a job. But he is sort of the new Allen Iverson, teams are leery. So Shaq’s people keep the hype machine going.
First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.
Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.
The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”
“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”
The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.
It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.
I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.
Somebody is in midseason form.
Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.
Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.