Shaq says he told Celtics not to trade Perkins (and talks Kobe)

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Shaquille O’Neal feels like a lot of Celtics fans do — that the Celtics shouldn’t have traded Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City at the deadline last season. But Shaq went a step farther telling GM Danny Ainge he might not be back and not to make the trade.

That’s just one of the interesting things the future Hall of Famer told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Shaq was back in his old stomping grounds of Baton Rouge as LSU unveiled a new statue of the best big man ever to come out of that school.

Here is what he said of the Celtics.

My mind was on winning the whole thing, and we had a chance to get the second spot (in the Eastern Conference), and we ended up getting the fourth spot. I even told (Boston General Manager) Danny Ainge not to do the Kendrick Perkins deal with Oklahoma City. I told them I might not be ready, and I’m definitely not coming back. Those guys did what they’ve got to do. I wasn’t surprised; I’ve seen it before. They say all that blah, blah, but you know it’s always going to be something different.

Shaq on comparing Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.

They were all different. Coming in, I had to bring Kobe along. Coming in with D-Wade, I didn’t want to lose a friend like I lost Kobe, so I was real delicate with him. LeBron already had everything, so I never had to say anything to him.

Shaq on how the league has changed since he entered it.

Business-wise, it’s different. When I was in high school, every team had a star and a Hall of Famer. You don’t have that now. Let’s be real: Orlando, Boston, L.A., Miami — that’s it. Maybe Memphis, the Spurs, maybe Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks. Only nine or 10 teams have a star. In my opinion, it’s kind of gone down. You’ve still got some young guys that are very exciting. They understand and grasp the power that they have.