Monday, June 29, 2009


(Here is where I'd normally post a picture of the player I'm talking about, but if you don't know who Shaq is, you need to get out of your 1950s bomb shelter and join the rest of the population back on Planet Earth)

Well by now, everyone and their mother, their father, their uncle, their grandfather's dietitian and their next-door neighbor's nanny's grandmother's second-cousin's pediatrician has heard of the news. Shaquile O’Neal is a Cleveland Cavalier.

I know everyone has been on pins and needles anxiously waiting to hear my opinion of the Big Diesel donning a Cavaliers jersey.

I like the move for many reasons.

One, we gave up two guys who were no longer contributing to our team and will most likely never even play a game for the Suns. Wallace is serious about retiring and Pavlovic is almost certain to be waived from Phoenix for financial reasons.

Two, it provides us with our first legitimate physical inside presence in ages.

Three, if you enjoyed the pre-game antics last year, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Four, I like the idea of Big Z coming off the bench. The guy only plays 24-28 minutes a game anyway, so he should still see the same amount of minutes coming off the pine because Shaq Fu will likely only play around 25 mpg. With Z going to the bench, this gives us arguably the best bench in the NBA.

Five, no one seems to be mentioning this but this undoubtedly makes Mo, Delonte and Boobie better players. It’s no coincidence that former Heat players, (d)Amon (j)Ones and Jason Kapono had careers years playing next to Shaqamania. He’ll draw enough double teams to give our wing players enough time to catch the ball, polish it off, blow on it, wink to the opponents wives and girlfriends and then splash the ball into the ocean.

Six, if the Witness Protection move turns out to be a total disaster, we unload his monstrous contract before the trading deadline and everyone forgets what happened and we get ready to sign LBJ and Chris Bosh to contracts in the summer of 2010. No harm, no foul.

Despite the six positives and the fact that Shaqtacular is one of the most dominant players to ever play the game, if not the most dominant, I don’t feel this move makes me any more confident of winning a championship next year.

Sure we are a better team, but I question how much the Big Cuyahoga has left in him. At 37-years-old, and literally taking a beating every single game for 18 + years, he has to be on his last leg.

And trust me, Cleveland knows a thing or two about last legs with former superstars. (See: Shawn Kemp)

I think this team still needs to upgrade their starting power forward position and I wouldn’t mind a taller, more offensive minded starting shooting guard.

Unfortunately for the Cavs, there aren’t too many realistic options.

Former scumbag Rasheed Wallace seems to be on top of everyone’s list to come to the Cavaliers. I’ve always said Wallace is a guy you hate because he’s on the other team, but would probably love if he were on your team.

Yeah, six years ago.

At 35-years-old (34 now, but 35 by start of the season) his offensive game seems to become more associated with shooting outside shots, instead of playing inside of the post. He couldn’t have looked more disinterested in playing the Cavaliers during the first round of the 2009 playoffs (although in his defense, he could have just finally realized he was playing for the Detroit Pistons.)

And of course, there is his attitude which many would argue is that of a 2-year-old boy who just lost his sippie cup.

I think the best option at this point is to go after Milwaukee Bucks starting power forward Charlie Villanueva who stands at 6-feet-11-inches and can spread the floor and shoot from a pretty decent range for a big guy.

He’ll turn 25 in August and has played with James back in their high school days. He is coming off a career year where he averaged 16.7 ppg and 6.7 rpg.

Also, he wants to be in Cleveland. He has been hinting at leaving the Bucks and joining Cleveland on his twitter page and has “appreciated all the love Cleveland has shown” him the past few days.

However, money talks. He is a restricted free agent and the Cavs can only really offer him the Mid-level exception, which the Bucks are expected to match any offer. Ferry would have to work some sort of sign and trade deal in order to get it done, but he may not have the assets.

I forgot to mention the seventh best thing about getting The Big Daddy, I just wrote a blog about him and never referred to him by the same nickname more than once.

Who needs a championship when you can do that.

-Nick Carrabine


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