Shaq in Cleveland – New Motto: “Win a Ring for the King!” »

Jul 3, 2009 at 8:44 am | around-the-nbalebron-james

“My motto is very simple,” O’Neal said. “‘Win a Ring for the King.” Shaquille O’Neal debuted in Cleveland on Thursday with a stated goal for next season. His friend LeBron James craves a championship, and O’Neal is here to serve. The 15-time All-Star center with four NBA titles was bedecked in a black suit, pink shirt and pink tie for an introductory news conference that might as well have been billed The Shaq Show. Acquired last week in a blockbuster trade with the Phoenix Suns, O’Neal was welcomed by a team that believes he can bring this title-thirsty region its first major pro sports crown in 45 years. The 37-year-old O’Neal has one season at $21 million left on a five-year, $100 million contract. However, early in his remarks he said, “I’ve got three years left in my career,” perhaps an initial attempt to persuade the Cavaliers to extend his deal past 2010. “I have a lot left,” he said. “There’s only four or five good centers in the league and I’m in that number. … I’ve been in it [the NBA] for 17 years but I’ve missed three years because of injury. If you do the math, I’ve still got three years left. You got that?” O’Neal has no concerns about Ohio’s climate. His only focus is on warming James with a title. “It’s LeBron’s team,” he said. “He’s the captain. This is the time in my career where I can fit in. I’m now in the security business. My job is to protect the King, and that’s what I’m here to do.” James has been vacationing with his family and did not attend O’Neal’s news conference. The superstars have exchanged e-mails and O’Neal plans to visit James this summer. O’Neal joked that his trade to Cleveland made his family happy. “My sons love LeBron more than they love me,” he said. “I’m just a little jealous about it.” Now that he’s on a new team, O’Neal needs a new nickname. His previous monikers: The Big Diesel, The Big Aristotle. The Big Cactus, Shaq Fu, don’t fit his new digs. So, has he come up with one? What about The Big Witness?! Source: NBA.com, ESPN.com.

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