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Shaq talks Celtics on Kimmel; deal imminent?

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  August 3, 2010 12:37 PM

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When late-night host Jimmy Kimmel asked NBA free agent Shaquille O'Neal last night if he'd be interested in playing for the Celtics, O'Neal answered positively.

This afternoon, there are reports that O'Neal's interest is apparently mutual, and may become reality. Comcast SportsNet New England's A. Sherrod Blakely is reporting that the 15-time All-Star is "close" to an agreement with the Celtics. David Aldridge of TNT and TBS has also confirmed the report. The Celtics are believed to be negotiating a contract with O'Neal, and ESPN's Chris Broussard said on Twitter that it is "likely done either tonight or tomorrow."

O'Neal told Kimmel he wants to play two more seasons.

"Right now I'm on the 730-day program, which means I have two years left," said O'Neal. "So I'm going to try to sign with the right team."

Kimmel asked if the Celtics would be the right team.

"Celtics would be a good program," said O'Neal.

Asked if Boston would be a good place to go, O'Neal said, "Yes, it would."

O'Neal told Kimmel it would not be weird to put on a Celtics uniform after playing for the Lakers, but he dodged a question about whether Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, or LeBron James was the best player he teamed up with.

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