Staff Writer: Ryan Ward
Over the past decade or so there’s been no center in the league that has been more dominant or one more NBA titles in Shaquille O’Neal.
Many players over the years to change the game due to their dominance in the fact that teams have to alter their defense in order just to guard are trying contained these players like Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers, but neither one of these two players that have the dominant like Shaq has during his NBA career as he is combined Finesse and power into a seven foot, 300+ pound frame monster in the paint.
When people say the player was unguardable it usually it determines the era in which that the player was in and many people would say that dominant players like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Bob Cousey were given that distinction back in the basketball heyday, but now might be humbled by the physicality and sheer size of players today.
Shaq was a player that defined an era and saw no equal during his prime with the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. He was always steal the downside of his career after the trade to Miami, but was still at able to help Dwyane Wade win an NBA title which turned out to be the Big Aristotle’s fourth forth.
There is no arguing that Shaquille O’Neal’s most dominant time in the NBA was with the Los Angeles Lakers where he won three straight NBA titles alongside Kobe Bryant and coached by arguably the best head coach of all time and Phil Jackson. Since leaving the Lakers he is not the nails reclaim his dominance in the paint, but he’s never lost the knack to dominate when he chooses to and that is what he has chosen to do more selectively with his current team the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Before this season the Phoenix Suns made a trade to send Shaq to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a way to dump some salary and an attempt by the Cavs to guard up and coming center Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.
So far the trade has worked out and the Cleveland Cavaliers favor, but like most players starting to show signs of age, Shaq has had his fair share of injuries and has sat out for considerable time in the second half of the NBA season.
Fortunately the Cleveland Cavaliers will get him back ahead of schedule and healthy for the playoffs which is the very reason they got them in the first place, but whether or not Shaq can hold up for another year, two years or even three years is still up for debate.
One thing that Shaq has been able to prove is that if he gets enough rest and if a team can work him in to play every other day then he can get back to his old self at least somewhat and average a double-double, but if he plays all 82 games is no way this big body is available hold up for the foreseeable future.
The one big question has been asked in Cleveland right now is whether or not LeBron James will be back for another season with the Cavs and that very well may determine whether or not Shaq wants to keep going or decides it’s time to call it quits.
For the time being, the big fella is going to keep on trucking in an effort to win his fifth NBA title before he hangs up his huge shoes, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this be his final season if the Cleveland Cavaliers can win it all this year.