These are other times, and old players are certainly not the big superstars they used to be a few years ago. This is the case of Shaquille O’Neal, a player that might as well have already played his last professional basketball game.
He is no longer Superman, as that title belongs to Dwight Howard now, and he was tied to the Cavaliers for just one season. If LeBron James leaves Cleveland, he will probably not want to come back for a second one as his chances of obtaining a last title will be severely diminished, and when it comes to play for another team, the chances are, well, quite small.
Just a few days ago, the player himself said that he would be interested in returning for one more season with the Cavs only if Lebron remains in the team, but if he doesn’t then his 18th season at the league could possibly be his last one.
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Something is for sure: Shaq is no longer a player worth $20 million a year, and I am sure he won’t want to play for less than that, which is a factor that can determine whether he continues or not.
He is also a player that is used to play along the lines of the best superstars in the league, including Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, LeBron and Steve Nash, and, if the Cavs fail to retain James, then Shaq won’t risk his reputation by playing along a player with less potential as it can him look bad.
Shaquille O’Neal used to be a player that was able to average a total of 20 points per game, but he hasn’t done that since the 2005-2006 season, and being 38 years old, he is even less capable of coming up with such numbers now. He is actually becoming less mobile and is seeing less and less a team leader.
A few years ago, O’Neal was not just an outstanding offensive player, but he could also played defensive quite impressively, but those days are certainly long gone, as he cannot block as he used to, and since he is just playing a maximum of 23 minutes per game, he cannot be trusted to win games anymore. The Diesel hasn’t announced what his plans are for the next season, but there are more chances of him leaving the game for good, than anything else.
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