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Shaq says he told Celtics not to trade Perkins (and talks Kobe)

Sep 12, 2011, 8:09 AM EDT

Former US basketball star Shaquille O'Ne Getty Images

Shaquille O’Neal feels like a lot of Celtics fans do — that the Celtics shouldn’t have traded Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City at the deadline last season. But Shaq went a step farther telling GM Danny Ainge he might not be back and not to make the trade.

That’s just one of the interesting things the future Hall of Famer told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Shaq was back in his old stomping grounds of Baton Rouge as LSU unveiled a new statue of the best big man ever to come out of that school.

Here is what he said of the Celtics.

My mind was on winning the whole thing, and we had a chance to get the second spot (in the Eastern Conference), and we ended up getting the fourth spot. I even told (Boston General Manager) Danny Ainge not to do the Kendrick Perkins deal with Oklahoma City. I told them I might not be ready, and I’m definitely not coming back. Those guys did what they’ve got to do. I wasn’t surprised; I’ve seen it before. They say all that blah, blah, but you know it’s always going to be something different.

Shaq on comparing Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.

They were all different. Coming in, I had to bring Kobe along. Coming in with D-Wade, I didn’t want to lose a friend like I lost Kobe, so I was real delicate with him. LeBron already had everything, so I never had to say anything to him.

Shaq on how the league has changed since he entered it.

Business-wise, it’s different. When I was in high school, every team had a star and a Hall of Famer. You don’t have that now. Let’s be real: Orlando, Boston, L.A., Miami — that’s it. Maybe Memphis, the Spurs, maybe Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks. Only nine or 10 teams have a star. In my opinion, it’s kind of gone down. You’ve still got some young guys that are very exciting. They understand and grasp the power that they have.

  1. rayflock34 - Sep 12, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    did he forget about Kevin Durant?

  2. velascochad - Sep 12, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    shaq, how dare you forget durant and not lebron. oh and d-rose too!

  3. passerby23 - Sep 12, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    I think Dirk is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Durant probably will be too if he keeps up at this clip. Chris Paul? Derrick Rose?

    There still are a lot of teams now without one though: Portland, Toronto, Indiana, Charlotte, Utah, Sacramento, L.A. Clippers, etc. So I get what he’s saying.

  4. baboushka - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    I love Shaq. But C’Mon Man! Deron Williams-Nets; John Wall-Wizards; Zach Randolph & Marc Gasol-Memphis; Kevin Love-Wolves; Kevin Durrant, Michael Westbrook-Thunder; Chris Paul-Hornets; Gallinari-Denver; Derrick Rose, Noah-Bulls; Kyrie Irving-Cavs; Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd-Dallas; Blake Griffin-Clippers.

    I could go on and on about a plethora of stars or emerging stars. Shaq is like the old gunfighter riding off into the sunset. Refusing to acknowledge a new wave of talented young gunfighters. The NBA will be just fine in the future. And it will continue being a star factory. It was interesting though that Shaq failed to mention Penny Hardaway and the roster full of Stars he failed to lead to a NBA Title in Orlando. Hmmm. Bad memories perhaps.

    • passerby23 - Sep 12, 2011 at 2:51 PM

      I’m sorry but Wall, Randolph, Gasol, Love, Westbrook, Gallinari, Noah, Irving, and Griffin have a LONG way to go before being called Hall of Famers. Those are good players. J-Kidd is a Hall of Famer but at the tail end of his career now. Irving has not played a single game yet for the Cavs and you’re already anointing the guy as a great player? Gallinari is a franchise player??

      I think Shaq is right. There are a handful of elite caliber players and a lot of good, but not great players.

    • fitzy3210 - Sep 12, 2011 at 4:37 PM

      Your an Idiot!!! He’s talking about Hall of Famers not All Stars pal and Marc Gasol!? C’mon yourself!!!!!!!!! Sure there are still a bunch of good players in the league but I think Shaq is more knowledgeable in the Basketball world then you are!!!!! So know what your talking about before you decide to post your thoughts publicly!!!!!

    • fanoredsox - Sep 12, 2011 at 6:51 PM

      I am sorry but Deron Williams- Nets? Didn’t you meant Deron Williams-Turkey? I meant the country that he is playing for and not the yard bird he acts like. He is a narcissistic piece of trash!

  5. ghelton03 - Sep 12, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Shaq never played with Durant, Rose and the other players mentioned in these posts. He played with Dwade, Bron and Kobe and was comminting on his experience on their teams.

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