Shaquille O’Neal does not look like a guy in shape to get back on the basketball court. Frankly, he didn’t look like that his last couple of years he was still in the NBA (when the injuries mounted up).
But he may be back on the court for a couple games in the Mexican Basketball League according to Sergio Ganem, the president of the Mexican team Fuerza Regia,who confirmed talks to ESPNDeportes.com.
Shaq would play one or two games in October. The two sides have had conversations but the report says no deal is in place.
Is this a blatant publicity stunt? Heck yes. And it’s a smart one. This is the same team that had Dennis Rodman for a few games in 2004 and used 7’9” Chinese player Sun Ming Ming. It’s all about publicity stunts.
And when you’re a small league in a country where you are a minor sport, then go all Bill Veeck. Bring in anyone you want, do whatever you can to get attention.
And if Shaq is up for it, well, go for it. Not sure Shaq can even dunk anymore, but it would still be a show.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.