Grade A Certified


Posted by J. Tinsley on June 25, 2009

Somewhere the U.S. Men’s soccer team is pissed. An upset over Spain that certainly still has the rest of the world in disbelief is on the backburner in America…to a trade. In the wee hours of the night (last night), Shaquille O’Neal, one of the greatest and most popular players of all time, was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in return for close to nothing. Nothing being Ben Wallace (who is expected to retire), Sasha Pavlovic and a second round draft pick. Yes, the same Cleveland Cavaliers who have the NBA’s reigning MVP, LeBron James.

After heated trade talks in February which never amassed to a finalized deal, the Cavs front office desperately needed the deal to work out in hopes to please their star player after an embarrassing defeat in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Orlando Magic. And Dwight Howard.

The Cavs obviously were unhappy with their ability to defend Dwight Howard in the playoffs against the Orlando Magic and bringing Shaq into the fold should help.

O’Neal averaged 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last season and made his 15th All-Star Game.

The Cavaliers also were in talks with New Orleans about obtaining Tyson Chandler. If they had not made the trade for O’Neal, they would have traded for Chandler, according to a source.

The deal comes on the eve of the NBA Draft which is sure to be explosive in its own right with the only guaranteed pick being Blake Griffin going number one to the “other” team in Los Angeles, the Clip Show Clippers. Aside from that, the draft boasts talent such as Ricky Rubio (Spain), James Harden (Arizona State), Stephen Curry (Davidson) Haseem Thabeet (UConn) and many more.

Even still, the news of Shaq heading to his fifth team to play with his fifth DOMINANT guard (Penny, Kobe, Wade, Nash and now LeBron) dominates headlines. Don’t look for the Cavs to be doing wheeling and dealing in free agency either. Resigning forward Anderson Varejao and an athletic swingman still ranks on the top of Cleveland’s “to-do” list. Anything to keep the King from building empire elsewhere, I guess.

Who knows if this will spell championship for the Cavs. Last season was thought to be “the year”, but let’s just say the Cavs do make it to the Finals, however, and end up facing Kobe and the gang (look in the background of the pic above, haha). Highest. Rated. Finals. EVER. That and Shaq will probably be the newest edition to the puppet phenomena. I hope.


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