Shaquille O'Neal - This, ladies and gentlemen, is why the "he's a superstar, he can say what he likes" defense does not wash. For years, Shaq would call people out in whatever way he so chose, including unnecessary pot shots at players like Ricky Davis and Chris Quinn, just because he wanted the press to like him. But now? Now that he needs the NBA? The NBA does not need him. Had he been a nicer guy, there wouldn't be the locker room doubts that are now submarining his otherwise-good-enough production.
Only six players in the history of NCAA basketball have ever recorded more than 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocks. Those six are David Robinson (1st overall pick, 1987), Pervis Ellison (1st overall pick, 1989), Derrick Coleman (1st overall pick, 1990), Tim Duncan (1st overall pick, 1997), Alonzo Mourning (2nd overall pick, 1992, behind only Shaquille O'Neal) and Kyle Hines (undrafted, 2008). And now in his professional career, Kyle Hines continues to put up numbers whenever he goes.
Not so long ago, the Celtics had five centres; Perkins, Shaquille O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal, Rasheed Wallace and Semih Erden. They had more centres than they had roster spots for them, and had done it this way on purpose. But Rasheed followed through on his retirement plans, Shaq has struggled to stay healthy, and Jermaine lost that same struggle four years ago. Not even Erden exists any more; like Daniels, he and the Skillz Train were pawned off to the Cavaliers in exchange for a second round draft pick, simultaneously opening roster spots and saving money. Without him on the bench, the Celtics become even shallower. The team that has to go through Dwight Howard now has to do so while relying on Nenad Krstic and Big Baby at centre.
[...] You only get one trade kicker per contract; that is to say, if you sign a contract with a trade kicker in it, the trade kicker is only applied to the first trade that contract is in and not to any subsequent contracts. (The exception is with sign and trades, where the first trade - the sign and trade - is ignored, and the trade kicker is applied to the next subsequent trade. This is why Peja is listed above.)
Because of that, there are a good many players whose current contracts featured trade kickers that have already been invoked. Here they are now, along with the value of their kicker. Note: only currently-being-paid contracts are listed, and the player doesn't necessarily have to be on an NBA roster any more.
[...] And perhaps the most famous example of this trend is Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq has released five albums, at least one of which has gone platinum, as well as some occasional public freestyling (including one notable incident where he encourages former teammate Bryant to sample the delectation of his bumhole). Shaq was never particularly good, but refreshingly, he was also never particularly bothered by this. And to his credit, he did improve. More importantly, even if Shaq himself wasn't hugely skilled, he managed to land himself some excellent production talent. This track, entitled "Strait Playing" [sic], is exactly the kind of the thing the world still needs to be making.
[...] The All-Star game itself was not half bad, either. The first and thus far only All-Star game to go to double overtime, it saw 300 total points scored, an in-his-prime Allen Iverson doing what an in-his-prime Allen Iverson did at All-Star games, and an in-his-prime Kevin Garnett dominate proceedings on his way to the MVP trophy. Shaq faced off with Brad Miller for the first significant time since Shaq tried to kill him, an amusing in-game report spoke of Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce’s outrages at playing so few minutes, Yao Ming looked woefully out of place on his way to two points and two rebounds, and the close finish saw the game’s very best turn up the intensity and play at something resembling their very hardest. It was good fun to watch, right down to the Zydrunas Ilgauskas experience. Even the 52 turnovers were aesthetically pleasing.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.