In a move long anticipated the Cleveland Cavaliers have reached out and touched Shaq to put all the pieces in place. LeBron James and O’Neal will team up to hopefully bring the Cavaliers up to an NBA Championship level. Truthfully, I’m extremely leery of this move and can’t bring myself to believe that the former Lakers star has what it takes to make Cleveland a champion.
At 37 years old O’Neal is way past his prime. More importantly I’m not convinced that the two can coexist on the same team. Lebron James owns the Cavaliers as much as Kobe Bryant owns the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaq is a media diva. His predeliction for demanding the spotlight comes into direct conflict with the appointed leader of the Cavs. I think sparks will fly.
Of course, this move is exactly what the NBA is looking for. In 2009 every media pundit in the world, including myself, fully anticipated a Cavaliers – Lakers Finals that would be everything an NBA Championship should be. We didn’t get it mostly because it’s hard for any one man to carry a team the way James carries Cleveland. I admire the Cavs for making the attempt but I believe there were other options. They simply went for the one that made the most splash.