So even before Sports Illustrated threw them on the cover of this week’s issue, there were questions about how the Shaquille O’Neal-LeBron James marriage would work out.
Sounding entirely sincere, Doc Rivers said he didn’t see how anyone could make the argument that having Shaq on your team could do anything but help.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” Rivers said. “I’ll take him.”
O’Neal scored 16 points in 20 minutes last night against the Celtics, and looked tough banging down low with Kendrick Perkins. Rivers went on about not only how much size O’Neal gives the Cavs but what he gives them as a rebounder, a passer, and an intimidator.
“Shaq’s a big human being,” Rivers said. “He’s going to help them. There’s no doubt about it. I laugh when people say he clogs it up for LeBron. The fact is you can’t leave Shaq, when [LeBron] drives because if you leave Shaq, then it’s an automatic dunk or a rebound. Most bigs you can leave and go help and get back. Shaq’s not one of them.”
The acquisitions that Rivers was most jealous of were Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker, two players he said he had his eye on in the offseason as well.
“I think that’s what everyone’s missing,” Rivers said. “Shaq’s huge … but I’ve always thought it’s the subtle moves. It’s not the big gigantic move that everybody talks about. Those two, we wanted them, too. I think those two moves were tremendous for them.”