Tuesday , Oct , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Is Shaquille O’Neal becoming an ‘adult’ for Boston Celtics?

Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal isn’t interested in potentially winning the Sixth Man of the Year award this season. "No," he said. "About four years ago, I gave up on the concept of winning individual awards. I’m focusing on the big one at the end of the year."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: If I hadn`t seen his duet with preteen monstrosity Justin Beiber, I’d say Shaquille O’Neal is sounding like an adult.

The powers that be with the Boston Celtics must like the signs. The future Hall of Fame center is gelling with teammates, doesn’t care for individual awards, and will apparently sacrifice to win.

This represents progress for The Big Shamrock, right? Hold on folks. Proceed with caution. For every team, October is filled with promise and promises.

The proof will come in January when O’Neal plays limited minutes during a nationally televised game against the Miami Heat.

Or during the playoffs when Coach Doc Rivers plays the defensive Kendrick Perkins (if healthy) because he can guard the pick and roll.

O’Neal will be upset. The media will circle. The media will question. And the media won’t stop until they get their controversial quote.

O’Neal must respond carefully. One wrong move, one wrong statement, or one off-putting joke could compromise his time with the green-and-white.

The year will be an exercise in maturity. So O’Neal better do more than sound like an adult. He better be one.

–Oly Sandor.

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