Shaq has a message for free agents about playing in Boston

The Boston Celtics got a nice free endorsement from Hall of Fame big man Shaquille O'Neal while he was in town getting honored at the annual "Tradition" award show. covered the event and asked Shaq some brief questions:
"I still think they're one or two players away," Shaq commented on the Celtics' current roster.

The next question he received was "how do they get those players? There's long been a theory here [in Boston] that free agents don't want to play here but Al Horford bopped that trend."

Shaq, without hesitating, responded by saying "hey, free agents. Boston is the s***. Trust me, it's a great town."

One of the big reasons why free agents often seem to be turned off from taking their talents to New England is the unpredictable and relentless winter weather. What professional basketball player wants to shovel their way to their car in the sharp and windy morning air to get to practice or games when they could be strolling out of their house or hotel in shorts and a tank everyday?

With this in mind, Shaq's praise for Boston carries even more weight. Let's not forget that this is coming from a guy who played in consistently nice climates over his entire career. He spent four seasons in Orlando, eight in Los Angeles, three and a half in Miami, and one and a half in Phoenix before capping off his career in Cleveland and Boston. Yet, I guess he wasn't bothered by the unpredictable New England weather where there seems to be 15 degree fluctuations in temperature on a daily basis.

Listen up, future free agents. Don't be intimidated by the cold winters or whatever else that may be keeping you from coming to this great city. Layer up, get some Dunkin' and you'll be fine. Plus, we are officially Shaq-approved!

Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32

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