Thursday , Jul , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Foes to friends? Shaq to sign with San Antonio Spurs?

The Spurs are the first choice of free-agent center Shaquille O’Neal, a source told FanHouse. O’Neal is looking to play two more seasons in the NBA. The source said that San Antonio and Atlanta are at the top of O’Neal’s list and there is interest from both sides.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They are complete opposites –like night versus day, sport utility truck versus European race car, and country rock versus glam’ hip hop.

But these former foes are on the verge of becoming friends. And a partnership – however unlikely the possibility seemed, say, five years ago – would work for both sides.

After years of doing battle during the regular season and playoffs, after years of trading insults on-and-off court, Shaquille O’Neal – once the glitzy star of the Los Angeles Lakers – is contemplating signing with the low key San Antonio Spurs.

Three words for Shaq and the Spurs: get it done.

O’Neal needs to join a veteran-laden contender like San Antonio, where he’ll be held accountable by players and the coach.

What attitude could he cope Tim Duncan, a first-ballot Hall of Famer and possibly the greatest power forward of all-time?

How could he talk back to Gregg Popovich, the league’s resident tough guy on the bench and a former military man?

He couldn’t.

And O’Neal would even have to watch how he treats co-stars like Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, who have both won three NBA championships.

However, this isn’t a one-sided arrangement. O’Neal – if healthy and that’s a big if these days – can still draw double-teams down-low and kick for the Spurs.

Best of all, he would provide a moxie; a confidence that it’s his inherent right to play in May and June for the championship.

In other words, exactly what was missing from the Spurs’ line-up when they meekly bowed out to the Phoenix Suns, an opponent they used to own, in the first round of the 2010 post-season.

These two former rivals must join forces. They need each other.

–Oly Sandor.

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