Shaq to play in Turkey next season?

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Well, it’s not even noon but we have our winner for weirdest story of the day locked up. My work here is done.

You all remember how Allen Iverson is playing basketball in Turkey right now (and sitting the fourth quarters). Well that has apparently emboldened his Besiktas general manager to start approaching other NBA players such as Shaquille O’Neal and… well, here are the quotes, from Ajansspor, picked up and translated by Hoopnotes (via Celtics Blog):

Seref Yalcin, GM of the Turkish club, said he was in the United States to meet with the center who said to him: “I want to be champion this season with Boston. But I’m coming to Turkey next year….”

“Some people will still come out and said ‘Shaq won’t come to Turkey’,” Yalcin added. “But the chances are very high.”

If you want to connect the dots in your mind, Shaq has a player option on his $1.4 million deal with the Celtics next season. There is going to be a lockout (whether or not it costs games is another question) so maybe Shaq opts out and becomes a free agent and then he would be free to sign with Besiktas.

If you believe that is going to happen, I won’t spoil Christmas by telling you Santa Claus isn’t real. Of course he is. Both Santa at the North Pole and Shaq in Turkey make nice stories for a winter’s night. Don’t stop believin’.