Shaq says he just wants to win, will come off the bench to do it


Shaq_Boston.jpgThere was nothing crazy from Shaquille O’Neal at his introductory press conference as a Celtic.

Wearing a bow tie was about the only unexpected thing he did at the event. Every word out of his mouth was what you want to hear if you’re a Celtics fan. Like, would he be willing to come off the bench?

“If that’s what it takes for us to win that’s fine with me.”

Or if he and Kendrick Perkins — who have had some physical battles over the years — can get along.

“We’ve had some battles. But that’s all over now because we’re teammates.”

Or if after a long search, one where he was looking for more money, he would be happy with a minimum deal with Boston?

“For me it was not really a tough decision to make, I just wanted to be with a great team, to continue to win.”

The concerns with Shaq in Boston were always less about on the court — although his legendary freelancing on defense and not sticking with the system could get interesting. Would he be a disruption to a solid locker room, or would he do and say the right things? Would he bring the circus to town around a team that has prided itself on focus?

One press conference really does not answer those questions. But Celtics fans have to like the way it started. Well, except for maybe the bow tie.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
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Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.

Kristaps Porzingis envelops Victor Oladipo’s dunk attempt (video)

Nikola Vucevic, Kristaps Porzingis
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Scott Skiles moved Victor Oladipo to the bench, because the Magic coach wanted to give Oladipo a chance to be more aggressive.

It worked.

Oladipo scored a season-high 24 points in the Magic’s 100-91 win over the Knicks.

But Oladipo’s aggressiveness also produced this fantastic Kristaps Porzingis block: