Goodbye will never come this way. There’s still a comeback left within him, still some late-season clandestine workouts with teams to show he can be useful in the playoffs.
A former front-office executive, former coach and former teammate of O’Neal’s privately agreed with the premise on Wednesday: Shaq will try to play again. There will be one more ill-conceived, clumsy comeback for him.
As one of his ex-coaches says, “If there’s a lockout, I can see him bored with whatever he’s doing, wanting the attention and trying to come back with a team later in the season.”
This is the same thing I've been saying since the season ended. Shaq's not done.
Shaq will take some time off. He probably only has a few good months of basketball left in him (good being a relative term) and he knows that. So why waste those few good months in October, November and December when you can rest up and help a team out in April, May and June?
Shaq will come back… I guarantee it. So hold off on all those retrospectives… because you'll just have to add to them when he steps up to a microphone in April of 2012, smiles that big Shaq smile and says "I'm BAAAAAACK."
Related links: CSNNE: Shaq's most memorable moments in Boston | Stern: Shaq was an NBA giant | Players react to Shaq retirement on Twitter | ESPN Boston: Shaq's timeline with Boston | KG on Shaq: Game's gonna miss you | 5-on-5: Random acts of Shaqness | Stern's statement on Shaq | C's will miss Shaq | Video: Shaq phones into SportsCenter | Stats & Info: Shaq-a-stats | Shaq "didn't want to hold Boston hostage" | WEEI: Shaq announces plans to retire | Herald: Shaq tweets retirement | Globe: Shaq announces retirement | With Shaq gone, let the great debate begin | Photos: Shaq through the years
On Page 2: The other O'Neal isn't going anywhere
"I have a lot I can still give to this team," O'Neal told CSNNE.com in a phone interview.
[…] "It takes time to get to know players, to trust players. I understand that," O'Neal said. "I think these guys know me better, and now that I'm healthy again, they can trust that I can do a lot of the things they've seen me do over the years. I'm excited about the opportunity to come back and get after it again."
If we get the Jermaine O'Neal we got in the playoffs, then I'll take that. It's better than the C's paying someone to sit around and do nothing (which is still a possibility considering Jermaine's injury history).
It's really shaping up to be one more run with a bunch of old guys, huh? The C's need to make some moves for some youth on this team once this lockout mess is resolved. We need guys who can eat up some minutes.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Free agent primer: Centers | ESPN Boston: Doc not present for pre-draft workouts | Celtics host first pre-draft workout | Bird honored by Nowitzki comparisons | WEEI: Potential Celtics: Jeremy Tyler | Globe: NBA, Players association have "productive" talks