Yeah. That Just Happened.
I dreaded the Shaq to Phoenix trade. I knew what it symbolized. The end of SOL. The destruction of Amare’s confidence. The resignation of Steve Nash. The downward slide of Matrix. It was contrary to every effective train of thought.
This? This I actually like.
Let’s be clear. There’s only one personality that matters in Cleveland and we all know who that is. So there’s a void there for Shaq to fill. To be the Other Personality. The veteran legend. You can’t do that on a team built on philosophical constructs comprised of guys who read Nietzsche and write poetry. You can do that on a team that does camera poses during intros.
From a spacing standpoint, it’s brilliant. The low post control that Z can’t assert, Shaq can. You have three effective rebounders now, and a guy who you can at least put on Howard without cringing. You have Mo Williams, Delonte West to be the sparkplug, Varejao and Shaq to do the dirty work, and James to shine. James knows Shaq won’t be there long. And that’s totally fine. He’s willing to let Shaq run his mouth as long as he delivers a title. And for Shaq, it’s a chance to redeem his image and further the idea that he’s the one that takes young guys to the next level.
Let’s go ahead and start a 72 hour countdown for the first bomb Shaq drops on Phoenix. Somehow, Kerr will manage to avoid his wrath, but I doubt Amare and Nash go unscathed. Nash is more likely because of the previous feud, his general attitude, and the fact that Shaq knows Nash won’t fight back.
You have to believe Phoenix has something else additional planned in the next few months. Nash-Richardson-Hill (?)-Amare-Lopez is not what Kerr will want to go to war with in a contract year for him. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Phoenix in another trade by the end of the night tomorrow.
Cleveland, embrace the big fella. He’s all yours.