Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Hoops Follies

Last week, it was the Lakers fleecing the Grizzlies, landing the pride of Barcelona -- All-Star superstar Pau Gasol -- for the disappointing Kwame Brown, rookie Javaris Crittenton, the retired Aaron McKie, Gasol's own brother, Marc, and a couple of future draft picks.

Then, the shocking news comes today that the Phoenix Suns have blown up their Western Conference-leading squad by trading the high-flying, do-it-all Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks (interestingly, two former UNLV Runnin' Rebels) for the once-legendary but no longer invincible Shaquille O'Neal.

Sure, Shaq owns four championship rings and will forever be beloved in Los Angeles for leading the Lakers to three consecutive titles in the early 2000s, but he's clearly on the downward side of his career. His plodding, half-court game doesn't fit Phoenix's up-tempo style, and his need (heretofore) to be the primary offensive option for his team doesn't bode well for his being willing to assume a secondary role similar to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the late '80s when he openly deferred to Magic Johnson and James Worthy.

The Big Aristotle -- as Shaq sometimes likes to refer to himself -- might shock us all, but this seems like a terrible move by the Suns. Time will obviously tell.

ESPN's J.A. Adande doesn't like the deal either.

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