Shaq: Move to Boston all about winning

Newly signed Celtics centre Shaquille O'Neal holds up his new jersey at a news conference in...

Newly signed Celtics centre Shaquille O'Neal holds up his new jersey at a news conference in Waltham, Massachusetts on August 10, 2010. (BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters)

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, Last Updated: 3:09 PM ET

BOSTON - Shaquille O’Neal brought his effervescent smile to Boston on Tuesday and said he hopes to bring another title to the NBA’s most-storied franchise.

Dressed in a suit with a bow tie, although not green like the Celtics’ leprechaun mascot, O’Neal said in his introductory press conference that signing a two-year deal with Boston is all about winning.

“Very honored to be here,” O’Neal said Tuesday. “The franchise has a rich tradition of winning. It wasn’t a tough decision to make. I just wanted to be with a great team with a chance to win. I look forward to a great year.”

The Celtics own the most NBA titles with 17 and came just short of another last year with a seven-game loss to the Lakers in the NBA Finals. O’Neal won three titles with Boston’s arch-rivals from 2000-02 and added another with Miami in 2006, but failed in his most recent venture to “win a ring for The King” in Cleveland with LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

Now, he’ll try to stop James and the Heat’s new Big Three by joining Boston’s Big Three of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett.

“We match up well with anybody,” O’Neal added. “We’re just going to play, and hopefully at the end we’ll be `in the hunt for a championship~.”

O’Neal, 38, will provide frontcourt help for Boston, which had already added Jermaine O’Neal this offseason and will likely be without center Kendrick Perkins for the start of the 2010-11 campaign because of a knee injury he sustained in the playoffs.

“We have always been an in-to-out basketball team and we got away from that last year and we want to get back to that this year,” noted Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. “There’s a lot of areas where he helps our basketball team and size is one of them. We think we filled that void today.”

O’Neal averaged 12.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in 53 games with the Cavaliers last year and will join his third team in three seasons. He played the 2008-09 campaign with Phoenix.

While he played 75 games for the Suns two years ago, the future Hall of Famer has been slowed by injuries for a majority of the past five seasons and his production has dropped.

“I think I will be a good fit here,” O’Neal commented about his perceived role with the club. “I realize I’m much older now. In order to win, you have to sacrifice because at the end of the day it’s all about winning.”

O’Neal is a 15-time All-Star and was the NBA Finals MVP from 2000-02 when he led the Lakers to three consecutive titles. He was also the league’s MVP in 2000.

Since being selected as the top overall pick in the 1992 draft by Orlando, O’Neal has averaged 24.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.3 blocks in 1,170 career games with the Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns and Cavaliers.

He also has appeared in 214 career playoff games, averaging 24.5 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. O’Neal ranks fifth all-time with 28,255 career points, and is 14th all-time in total rebounds 12,921.


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