Sacrificing to Win: Shaq made it clear that he is accepting of a lesser role and that his motivation for donning green was to win another championship. Many questioned Shaq's ability to handle coming off the bench and being a role player. However, the big man put those rumors to rest, "I've always been a team player. On this team no one really cares about who gets the recognition.... whatever Doc and the guys need me to do, I'm willing to do". Shaq repeatedly expressed that his goal was to land on a team used to winning and had a shot at a title. "I've done everything individual that I've sent out to to do. At this point in my career it's all about winning"
Not Satisfied with his Legacy: Shaq currently has four championships but he wants more. "In my book I would like to see Shaquille O'Neal have 5 or 6 championships". He said that if he ended his career or "closed his book" with anything less than that he would feel down on himself. This has to be good news for Celtics fans. Shaq won't be getting complacent with his four rings.
And the Nickname is... Shaq said, so far, he likes 'The Big Shamrock' the best but he's also partial to 'The Big Green Mile'. Personally, I like 'Shaqachusetts'.
Praise for Celtics Organization: Shaq had praise for the Celtics players, tradition and legacy. He said that Rondo had "taken his game to a whole new superstar level" and called KG one of his "favorite young players" - prompting Doc to joke, "when was the last time KG and young were said in the same sentence?". On Perk, "We've had some battles but that's all over now because we're teammates now". Shaq not only had good things to say about the current roster but Celtics of old too. He talked a lot about Bill Russell. He mentioned how, as a kid, his dad told him to play like Russell and called the Celtic great, "the greatest big man ever".
Strong Front Court: Shaq noted, "We have four great big men. When Big Perk comes back, not too many people that can deal with our front-line". Obviously depth at the position was a problem the Celtics ran into late in the post-season. Shaq's addition arguably strengthens the position. In the quote he again implies being OK with a reduced role, noting Perk's return as a positive thing.
Doc on Shaq: Coach Doc Rivers talked about bringing in Shaq and said, "Shaq has a heck of a legacy going and to get another title I think would cement it and I wanna really help him achieve that goal". Rivers also noted that the Celtics have a tradition of bringing in veterans who are at the end of their careers to pursue a title run. He pointed to Bill Walton as the first one to come to mind.
Overall, Shaq said all the right things. He's accepting of a backup role and is solely interested in winning a championship. Perhaps the most revealing quote was, "this team was a good team with or without me". Shaq seems to know that he's not the same player he once was and is committed to putting individual agendas aside for the greater good of the team. At the very least, Shaq's signing with Boston will be extremely entertaining. He did mention a Clam Chowder eating contest with Big Baby. Michael Saver 8/10/2010 11:35:00 AM Tweet Edit