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Friday, August 20, 2010
Sports Guy: Shaq theories

By Chris Forsberg

Steve Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesBill Simmons provides some thoughts on why Shaq signed in Boston.
Why did Shaq sign with the Celtics? Oddities as such fuel Bill Simmons' hypotheses. In this case, he cites Kobe and his Tupac ways for forcing the green monster to wear the green.
I hate hearing the phrase "There's no answer." I can't accept it. Everything within reason should have an answer. And if you can't come up with one? Come up with a theory. Without further ado, here's my newest column gimmick, "Theories I've Been Chewing On Lately."

Chewed-On Theory No. 1: "Why did Shaq sign with the Celtics?"

Notice how that didn't read "Why did the Celtics sign Shaq?"

I went through the seven stages of grief when the Celtics signed Shaq: shock and denial ("No!"); pain and guilt ("No!!!!!!!!!"); anger and bargaining ("NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"); depression, reflection and loneliness ("He's a washed-up coach-killer who couldn't stop a high screen if you allowed him to use a taser and a billy club"); the upward turn (remembering that the Celtics signed him for the minimum, that he's eminently tradable or waivable, and that he was taking Shelden Williams' spot); reconstruction and working through (that he may have been miscast on his two previous teams, and with a bigger/slower/older team like Boston that struggles in the half court, he might be an asset on the low post against certain opponents); and acceptance and hope (that even if only he plays hard versus the three teams against whom he has a grudge -- Miami, Los Angeles and Orlando -- he could end up being a major asset). I finished the whole cycle in less than 24 hours.

Within a week, I was convinced that Shaq would be like Bill Walton with the '86 Celtics: rejuvenated and reborn. That's what fans do. We talk ourselves into things. And truthfully, I do think it was a smart signing for Boston for one reason: the price ($1.3 million).

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