Thursday Morning Starting Five: The Shaq Trade To Cleveland Shook Up the World Edition

I think it was Jemele (via Stephen A.)who alerted the twitterspere about Shaq’s trade around 11 or 12 last night and for the next 3 hours the entire sports world was abuzz with reactions, rumors, and predictions for next season. I was debating Bomani Jones about what was the better draft…’84 or ’96 and also my normal Nash smash for history when the news hit. Here’s my tweet after the trade went down. For all the criticism the NBA gets, when big stuff like this goes down, there is nothing like it in sports. Shaquille O’Neal does it like no one else. Shaq’s move to join LeBron in Cleveland put the entire draft in his sickdiculous shadow. Crazy stuff. I wonder how it’s all going to play out. Is it Super Bowl time so we can find out ASAP? IMO, trades like this only exacerbate thinking that teams are better than they actually are. Dwight Howard has to be licking his Leviathan chops. Bang on him Dwight like you are the prototypical John Connor trying to eliminate John Connor from the primitive back end of Krypton. In the NBA, the best team always wins. I’m still going with Boston over LA with Andre Miller working the triangle in his home town. I’ll have a draft preview up on later.

A Cleveland breakdown. Hope it works out for you LeBron. (Plain Dealer)

Same thing from Phoenix. Steve Kerr better get this team back on track quick. (AZ Central)

Phil Jackson will not have a part time gig. (The Daily Breeze)

Yao’s still has a bad foot. (Houston Chronicle)

Ray Ratto on the US upset of top ranked Spain. Don’t follow soccer like that, but I know enough that his is a shocker. (SF Gate)

Cats are killing football coaches now? RIP (Des Moines Register)

When being underrated is a crime. Rass Kass is possibly the lyricist GOAT

So bad, had to rock Kass twice

The last and most provoctive part of Todd Boyd’s interview will go up next week.

19 Responses to “Thursday Morning Starting Five: The Shaq Trade To Cleveland Shook Up the World Edition”

  1. Okori says:


    I know it’s like me and 3 other people on the board who watch hockey but this is like the poor man’s miracle on ice. Spain was RIDICULOUS.

  2. Patrick says:

    My Hawks are apparently going to bring Jamal Crawford here to the ATL. He has always been a creative, dynamic scorer. However, I only see him in two capacities: as the starting PG or the first guy coming off the bench (receiving 28-32 minutes a game)…

    He has a reputation of being a defensive liability, and with his 6’5 barely 200 lb frame, he reminds me of Courtney Lee who got constantly torched in the NBA Finals against Kobe and even Luke Walton…

    There had been some rumors that Woodson (who may be dead man walking) may not like acquisition of Jamal Crawford and this is a deal mainly by the GM Rick Sund…a memo to Woody (make it work)…

    I wish things would have worked out with Acie Law, but he and Coach Woodson never saw eye to eye and what scant opportunities Acie received, Law wasn’t very consistent or impressive. As for Speedy, I am glad he is finally gone.

    I like Crawford’s offensive talent, but in the Eastern Conference, how are we going to cover Paul Pierce, Lebron, Wade and other taller two guards… Joe Johnson is capable of doing this, but there has to be a comparable player to Joe (6’8-240) who can help alleviate some of his defensive duties so he can concentrate on being an even more dominate scorer and trying to stay out of foul trouble.

  3. Patrick says:


    I watched the whole U.S.-Spain match. I believe this is one of the few times I had watch 90 minutesof a soccer match without turning the channel or going to sleep…

    Tim Howard, the goal keeper, was phenomenal…

    I don’t usually watch soccer, but I was wondering –where’s Freddy Adu? He didn’t get a chance to play at all. However, there was another impressive 19 year-old and his name is Jozy Altidore…

    Last week, analysts were ready to run the new soccer coach out of town, but after an improbable win over Egypt and this win over Spain, now many have changed their tune.

  4. Patrick says:,172770

    It seems Danny Ainge has a problem with Rondo. Rondo was a triple double machine during the playoffs despite Boston coming up short vs. Orlando. And the Hawks need an upgrade from Bibby, because Mike is an old 30 and Rondo is a young 23 with a championship ring.

    How about trading Rondo to the Hawks for Marvin Williams? Rondo and Josh Smith were teammates at Oak Hill five years ago.

  5. Tariq says:


    No way the Celtics would accept that trade. That would be GREAT for the Hawks.

    As for Freddy Adu, he was hyped up as the Next Pele, but things didn’t pan out. He’s still only 20, but he’s not a regular in the senior US squad. He’s sometimes used as a substitute.

  6. Shaq n Bron both have something in common…an infactuation with Kobe! I’m anxious to see a Cle/LA finals this season. It could potentially be the biggest finals matchup of all time. Lebron vs Kobe was enough…but adding Shaq to the mix only sweetens the pot. The NBA definitely have to make this a Christmas matchup this season too! The league just has to.

  7. I’m not too crazy about the trade but I guess it works for the Cavs. IMHO, they’re probably still #3 in the East when all are healthy. The Cavs need another scorer from the two or the three (depending where they play LBJ).

    This whole thing gets hairy after next season when LBJ becomes a free agent, are the Cavs gonna give Shaq a two-year deal like he asked? Moreover, if this thing ends with the Cavs on the losing end of the EC Championship or in The Finals, does LBJ suck it up and stay in Cleveland or does he roll….

    Stay tuned.

  8. As for my 76ers, a point guard is a major need but if a shooter like Wayne Ellington is on the board I don’t think they pass on him. I would see if Willie Green could net a 2nd round pick. I’ve all but given up hope on trading Samuel Dalembert, his salary and trade kicked leave the 76’ers with him for one more season.

    Dangling Elton Brand out there isn’t out of the realm of reality either.

  9. TheLastPoet says:

    Just like the time they traded for Ben Wallace, the Cavs are getting Shaq one year (at least) too late.

    A fading Shaq is enough to defeat an aging Celtics team – especially if Ainge is stupid enough to trade Rondo (what kinda beans is he smokin up there???), but provided the Magic keep Hedo, and provided Leviathan continues to improve (an argument can be made that Howard is better than Shaq already), then this move doesn’t move the Cavs past the Magic, not in the post season anyway.

  10. GrandNubian says:

    The Cavs are going to need more than Shaq to represent the East and win it all. They also need a big 2 guard (i.e. Ron Artest).


    I agree. What was Ainge thinking about trying to trade Rondo AND Ray Allen? Rondo was the best PG in the playoffs this past year and Ray Allen is the best shooter on the team and perhaps in the game, even at 32. Dude is as clutch as they come and is money from the foul line. Rondo has so much upside it’s ridiculous. He’s only 23 and he has some growing up to do but to trade him because he showed up late a few times? That’s asinine.

    Discipline him, yes. Trade him? Hell to the naw!

    Maybe the Celtics should trade Danny Ainge the GM. 🙂

  11. Where were the was Ainge when Rondo put the C’s on his back in the first two rounds.

    That series against the Bulls and Derrick Rose was epic.

  12. Patrick says:

    Awhile back somebody had said this about Boston GM Danny Ainge…

    …..”I think Ainge’s strongest skill is his talent evaluation. His weakest are his people skills….”

    Maybe Rondo maybe said something to Ainge in response to him that gave Danny ‘flashbacks’ when Robert Horry threw a towel in his face 10 years ago when he was coaching Phoenix…

    …and now Ainge may be determined to move Rondo as a way to show ‘who is in charge’. Danny got his championship as GM and moving Rondo won’t garner as much criticism.

  13. .Temple3 says:

    Add my name to the list of folks who believe the addition of Shaq will not be enough. Cleveland is going to have its hands full. One thing that bears noting is that LBJ’s skillset is such that any combination of players that allows them to hang close at the end of games will be big.

    For my money, the team with the best,, healthy bigs will win the East. Unless CLE continues adding, they not only need a 2, but they need a post big for those mins when The Big Fossil is on the bench. A healthy Boston brings the mostest and bestest….We’ll see how it plays out.

  14. Jerold Wells Jr. says:

    Ainge has a big ego….hehehehe. Thing is Rondo does too. Mizzo alluded to it earlier this year. Rondo took last year to the dome and apparently thinks that he’s the shiznit. He’s nice. But he’s not elite….. yet. CP3, Deron Williams, Chauncey and Tony Parker are the class of the league as far as PG’s go. I think Rondo falls into the category below them with Rose, Nelson, Kidd (barely), Bibby, Nash, Baron Davis and Mo Williams. If Rondo’s attitude is stinky (and I’m hearing it is) he doesn’t fit in that locker room and probably will be moved.

    A couple of things about the draft tonight. The Clippers have the makings of a real contender. If healthy, the only thing between them and the playoffs is bad coaching. Look at that roster. A young forward combo Griffin and Thorton is beastly. Baron Davis is still a tough cover when healthy. Dunleavy is playoffs or done IMO.

    Portland has made a habit of hoarding picks and making moves on draft night, watch them.

    Washington is gearing up for a run. They’re a young frontcourt guy away from being back in the running for top 4 in the East status. Seriously.

    Dallas, Atlanta, Minnesota, Sacramento, OKC, New York and Indiana (off the top of my head) could all use immediate PG help.
    Rubio? I think not. Flynn, Maynor, Lawson, Mills, Teague, Curry and Evans should all be rated ahead of him for various reasons. Dude might be nice. But he might not be worth a damn. You could say that for alot of folks though, it’s the beauty of the draft.

    Where’s all the shine for Earl Clark? Sam Young? Gerald Henderson? I don’t think this is as weak a draft as some are saying. There are pros in this draft, you just have to wade through the BS to find them.

    Crawford to the Hawks should pay dividends. Thing is they still need Bibby. Crawford can’t run a team. Flip, Crawford, Mo Evans, Zaza and a solid rookie forward that will defend and rebound from Day 1 (Hansborough? Blair? Taylor Griffin? Jordan Hill? James Johnson?) can help this team.

    My Twolves are on the clock baby!!!!
    If available, I like:

    Thabeet, Sam Young (I just think he can contribute RIGHT NOW), Harden, Henderson, Maynor, Teague, Lawson, Jordan Hill and two sleepers in Pendergraph and Heytvelt. We need a point and wing and a big to complement Al and Love inside.

    I love draft night. A few of these guys are going to play big roles for thier teams. A few are going to be busts. It’s always nice to see how it plays out.

  15. Patrick says:


    I am not sold on Rubio either. There will definitely be a language and chemistry barrier in terms of relating to his teammates and transitioning to the NBA game. I don’t how this guy got rated so high…it reminds of Marvin Williams getting rated so high and he was sixth man coming off the bench for Carolina…or how did Boris Diaw get picked as a Top 10 pick? Diaw has the skillset, but not the heart to take his game to a different level.

    The Hawks may still take a PG at #19… I wouldn’t be mad if the Hawks got either Maynard or even Brandon Jennings…

    However, the Hawks need some toughness on the floor as well.. Sam Young in my opinion will be an impact player and the type of player who can do the little things on defense and offense. he is very under-rated offensively, but has developed a nice mid-range game with the ability to hit the three. Additionally, he is very athletic player (just as athletic as Josh Smith) and at 6’6, another defensive option to guard some of the elite two guards in the league…

    Sam Young is an under-rated player, and I wouldn’t be mad if the Hawks drafted Dejuan Blair…

  16. Patrick says:

    Orlando responds to Cleveland’s Shaq move…

    And after the way Courtney Lee performed defensively especially against Kobe, Luke Walton and the Lakers, I had a feeling the handwriting was on the wall for Lee and also for Rafer (when he called out Coach). Lee has some talent, but he is a limited player trapped as an undersized two guard who can’t play point or small forward. To me, Lee had opportunities to make plays for the Magic during the Finals and that missed layup in Game 2 may be a mark on his career (unfair or not)..and even though he was a liability defensively, Courtney Lee’s offensive game disappeared as well. The Orlando organization’s trading of Courtney says (to me) that they can’t make a championship run with Courtney Lee receiving significant minutes at the two guard position… Rafer is 33 and his services aren’t needed anymore..

    Vince Carter is aging, but he still is a big-time scorer and at times can flash that athleticism especially in attacking the rim.. I don’t know if this move will push Hedu out of Orlando, but we shall see..

  17. Temple3 says:


    You don’t think Orlando cut Rafer because he called out the coach. You could be right, but I thought it was because he was such an erratic shooter, routinely threw the ball out of bounds making electrifying passes to vendors in the front row; AND because he called out the coach.

    BTW, you made some great points — and I would think Orlando wants to keep Hedo and Vince. Adding Vince and losing Hedo doesn’t make them better.

    Courtney Lee, for what it’s worth, had very little to do with Orlando losing this series. If they’re going to look anywhere, they need to start with their highest paid shrinking violets: Howard and Lewis. Lee was willing to play chest to chest; willing to take tough shots; and willing to have his number called on a potential series-changing play. I think he’s a heck of a young player who can get much better in the right situation. We don’t know if he’ll find a better spot than Orlando, but he ain’t the reason they lost.

  18. Patrick says:


    I don’t totally blame Courtney Lee for losing the Lakers-Magic series, but his contributions were counterproductive and maybe Magic management had an epiphany that Courtney Lee won’t be able to guard the McGrady’s, Carter’s, Pierce’s (or D-Wade in which he gave up 50 during a regular season game) and especially Kobe (regardless if Lee gains experience) So GM Otis Smith decided to cut their losses.. And I really don’t think Courtney Lee will come back to haunt the Magic in the future either… Courtney is a NBA player who will play somewhere but will be relegated as a bench player for most of his career. Now I am aware the more versatile, athletic 6’9 Trevor Ariza was a former Magic player, and letting him go was something maybe Magic management regrets, because Trevor can play defense at 6’9 and hit open threes … Lee’s size and poor defensive skills makes him a liability..especially if he isn’t hitting shots…

    Now your “shrinking violet” theory is definitely on point in regards to Rashard Lewis. Lewis disappeared, he is making 15 million+ a year and is one of the oldest, experienced guys on the team. Plus, he has the type of offensive skillset and athleticism that could have pushed the Magic to a world championship. However, there is a tad too much finesse in Lewis’ game and he becomes more of a spectator if he is pressured instead of accepting the challenge (like a D-Wade) . The Lakers (especially Kobe and the once scorned Ariza) became more emboldened when Lewis turned into a shrinking violet at a critical time during the series. In Game 4, Lewis played 46 minutes and had only six points (in Orlando)…

    Rafer was seen as a talented veteran player, but also a ‘aging’ ticking time bomb at the age of 33… In my opinion, he was seen more as a short-term solution and you see he was quickly shipped off within a week of the Lakers winning the title..

  19. vleeflo says:

    I here by declare, that on this 25th day of June in the year of our Lord 2009, the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers season for the year of our lord 2010, officially will not exist in my world. I declare all wins by the Cavaliers meaningless and deem them unfit to participate in the 2010 regular season and post season. If they choose to not abide by this declaration and play the season with Shaquille O’neal, then they do so without my approval and with the understanding that all of there games will be marked with a “BIG” asterisk. In addition, there will be no participation from or support from me until Mr. O’neal is no longer with the team. This would include any and all championship celebrations and all affiliated good times connected with Cavaliers celebrations for the year of our Lord 2010. I, also hereby deem myself unfit to support any other teams in the National Basketball Association until Mr. O’neal is no longer a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. This would include support for the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls or any other team in which my close constituents may have a supporting interest. I apologize for any inconvenience the Cavs management and Mr. O’neal have caused.

    This message has been approved from the offices of Disgruntled Cavs fan #1:

    Thank you