Shaquille O’Neal’s decline has been widely reported this season, but I never realised it was that bad until I watched the Cavs vs Heat Christmas Day match up. Shaq was hopeless. It won’t show up on the stat sheet (well, it kind of does, he only had 13 points to go with 4 TOs) but it looked like he was more preoccupied with avoiding the embarrassment of a sixth straight foul-out rather than trying to get the W. The guy can’t move any more. He can’t run, he can barely jump, he throws up ridiculous shots from the low post after he struggles to get the positioning he simply commanded four to five years ago. He almost looked like a liability.
Then the Heat go and play the Sixers who I still can’t figure out how they’re winning games. Sure, Z might pose some problems for Shaq but I expected the Dalembert/Booth tandem to be slightly less imposing. Well the Big Daddy scored 5 points on 2/4 shooting – FIVE POINTS! In 30 minutes of ball, and he wonders why his team mates are singling him out for lack of effort. Yes he grabbed 10 rebounds, but for a team who should be going through Shaq in the low post for at least 80% of their possessions, taking only four shots is ridiculous.
So it has dawned on me. Shaq is finished. The Heat will not contend for another title while he is there. It’s getting to the point where they almost need another centre so Shaq can come off the bench, which is stupid, because Shaq is getting paid mega $$$$ for the next couple of seasons. He’s ripping off the Heat and mortgaging their future all in one swift move. You can’t put a dollar value on that. Or can you?
Just how much is Shaq worth right now? After watching his last game I think I have enough change in my glovebox to cover it. But to get a real consensus we might as well auction it off. Who knows, we might make a buck or two while there’s still some juice left in the Diesel’s tank.
(click below for large image)