Rumor earlier today, before the 3 p.m. trade deadline, was that the Cleveland Cavaliers were trying to spark a deal with the Phoenix Suns for Shaquille O'Neal.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the proposed trade would have given the Suns Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic in exchange for Shaq. Rumor was that the Suns tried to get the Cavs to put Wally Szczerbiak's large expiring contract into the mix instead of Wallace.
Regardless, this deal did not happen, and luckily for LeBron James might I add.
The addition of Shaq could have put Cleveland over the hump and elevated them to the NBA title this season. Nothing against Shaq, as I've said before, he's my second favorite NBA personality behind Charles Barkley, but does LeBron really want to win his first title like that?
Think about it. If Shaq was shipped to the Cavs and they won the title this season, the three best players in the league (and the faces of the league), Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and LeBron would have all won their rings with the help of Shaq.
We all know Kobe has been striving to win that first title without Shaq to distinguish himself and elevate him to that truly elite level. Dwyane Wade is currently going through a resurrection where he is proving to everyone just how good he is coming back from a disappointing season last year that was cut short by knee surgery. Wade surely wants to win that second title, this time perhaps with another O'Neal in the post.
Would a title won with Shaq cement LeBron's place as arguably the best player in the league, or would it just cement Shaq's spot as one of the Most. Dominant. Ever. with his fifth ring with three different teams? Surely a title together would do more for Shaq's legacy than LeBron's.
I'm sure LeBron wants to win that first title, and of course the whole organization wants to get him that title in Cleveland before he becomes a free agent and bolts for another team (New York?). But does he want that title to be won through his own doing, or through the addition of Shaq?
If you ask me, LeBron, or rather, his legacy dodged a bullet by not having Shaq traded to the Cavs.