I'm not at all convinced that obtaining Shaq will result in Phoenix improving or winning a championship. The most I can muster for the move is a "maybe" in relationship to potential results. For me it's not so much the conflict of having a slow moving center put into what has been the fastest paced team in the league, I actually think that can be made to work. Sabonis was far from a runner by the time he reached Portland, and we played him with Rasheed and Stoudemire and were able to strike a good balance of breaking and half-court, and I think Phoenix can do the same. The big issue with Shaq is just how much left does he have PERIOD. Next season he's turning 37...I don't know if he has enough left in the tank, regardless of how much he might want it, or think he has.
But wait, lest you think this is just a diary bemoaning the moves of a western conference rival. Given all that I just said, I still like the move by Phoenix. Why? Because they looked at their team and decided they weren't good enough to win a championship, decided very very good wasn't good enough and rolled the dice. I like that. That takes guts. So even though I'm not convinced it will work, I admire Phoenix for taking the chance. It would of been far easier to just stay "as-is", be one of the best but fall short again. Leaving Nash another year older and Phoenixs hopes another year paler. This gives them a different look and reasons to think they can win. Is Shaq so great a talent that put alongside Nash, Stoudemire and The Phoenix talent he might be able to contribute the difference? ...like I said, maybe, and when we are talking Championships I think maybe is better than "not going to happen" which really was the reality with Phoenix pre-trade.
Kudos to Phoenix for rolling those dice, win or lose. If it backfires the fans will complain. If the next two seasons is Shaq fading like cheap wallpaper then Phoenix management is going to take a lot of flak. I'm sure they all know this. So I admire their guts for making the trade.
I remember when The Blazers were one of the top teams in the league with Kersey, Buck, Clyde and Porter, Duckworth. Barkley wanted out of Philadelphia. There were rumors we could obtain him for Kersey and some change. At the time we were Championship contending, legitimate. I did not want to make the move, because Kersey was one of my favorite Blazers, and as I said, we were great anyway. In retrospect? What if we had the guts to roll the dice? Would a team of Drexler, Porter, Barkley, Buck and Duck faired better?....maybe....
Speculation is never an answer, but I admire those organizations that don't settle for very, very good. Phoenix made a move for a championship. Will it work? I don't think so, BUT I admire the roll of the dice they were willing to take.