Here we are, Suns fans, just a few days away from the All Star game and it occurred (with the help of an unknown fan) that I made a serious error in leaving our Big Cactus off of my picks for the game.
First, I need to explain that the fine fellows who bring this website and all it’s amazing stuff to you asked me to pick just five for each squad. That was quite nearly impossible for me and I must admit I am generally adept at coloring outside the lines so I picked 8 or 9 guys for each. So right off the bat I blame the guys upstairs.
My choices for the West big men were Amar’e , Al Jefferson and the beloved by all Suns fans, Tim Duncan. Somehow this led to me to leaving Shaq off my list. I am still certain Jefferson is an accurate pick as he was playing quite well until recently injuring his knee. These three guys have better numbers than O’Neal but that is not the point.
Shaquille O’Neal should be on the All-Star team, in my opinion, every time. Not only is he “all that” with rings, records, and rhyme, but he is as close to Jerry West (the logo) as anyone at being emblematic of the NBA. Not only is he a terrific athlete blessed with size, coordination, talent, strength, speed, great footwork and plenty of charisma, he is generous and obliging. Added to this is the fact that he is probably in the top five most recognizable persons on the planet.
He is playing quite well and even if he wasn’t, he should be at All-Star weekend merely for the great attraction he is. Simply put, the fans love the man. He is and has been a great player and ambassador for the game I love and should be a part of this league in some capacity for as long as he wants.
So I thank the unknown fan who responded to my All-Star picks with “Hey, what about Shaq?” for moving me to offer up these thoughts on the Big Fella. I had the great opportunity to play against some of the biggest and best there was and Mr. O’Neal out-big-fellas all of them.
Enjoy the weekend and all the festivities everyone.