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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Shaq Not Player He Was, but Accepting of His New Role

In his 19th year in the NBA, Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal is a far cry from the explosive young player he was when he entered the league with the Orlando Magic. He’s not the still explosive, but bulkier player he was during his time with the Lakers or the Heat. What he is now is a role player who can step up and show flashes of his old self when called upon, as he did on Friday night against the Bobcats:

Shaq’s game has always been predicated on power, which makes sense considering he’s currently listed at 325 pounds, though opponents have always claimed his weight was a conservative estimate. Despite the power, he’s also always displayed incredible footwork and hands for a man his size — two attributes that have allowed him to continue playing even as his athleticism diminished. All that takes a backseat to the fact that Shaq has accepted his new role. With the Celtics he has shown a willingness to come off the bench and fill-in for the injured Kevin Garnett. If Allen Iverson were actually willing to accept such a role, he’d probably still be in the NBA instead Turkey.

Thanks to weedfan for the video.

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