By Rob Kotaska
I found it hard to believe when the headline came out that Shaq was considering a return to the franchise that he abandoned 16 years ago. It has been rumored that Kazaam has a beef with the latest Superman-obsessed big man in O-town. Shaq likes to believe he is the first person to ever wear a S crest and see himself as everyone’s favorite Kryptonian. Every other kid in the late 70s beat you with Underoos, big man. Thanks for coming out. One common thread: both pseudo-Supermen have the same Kryptonite, the free throw line. So they had that going for them…
The supposed feud aside, the fit of position made no sense to me from a different ego-driven aspect. Shaq would need full power. Dwight has already shown that he holds the cards when it comes to personnel matters. Where was the benefit for Shaq? He would have shepherded a team with a dubious supporting cast for the talented, but immature superstar. The Heat look to be the premier team in the division no matter what moves Shaq might have been able to make. And the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers, among other teams clog the Eastern Conference path to the Finals. Would there be the cap room and the commitment from ownership to complete with all of them?
And what would his sale pitch be to potential free agents?
“I know that I bolted from a team that was on the brink for the bright lights of Los Angeles, but that was the 90s and I had crappy films to make, horrible rap albums to torture ears with and Orlando has grown as a town since then?”
Fortunately for Magic fans O’Neal turned down an interview for the job. Personally I was hoping Shaq would take the job so he could stop mumbling his way through halftime segments, taking away time from “The Jet” (Because no one is backing Charles in a corner, especially someone who has the questionable debating skills). He is unwatchable.
That is a selfish line of thought though, Magic fans deserve better than a neophyte GM with an ego problem to mix with a coach-killing superstar with an ego problem. That would have been a recipe for disaster. Great drama for the rest of us, sure, but a big pile of Turkoglu was avoided for a fan base that deserves far better than it has gotten over the past few years. Onto the next puppet GM candidates… can a call to Penny be far off? Nick Anderson, anyone? Too soon?