Remember when David Beckham signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy? And remember the buzz and the impact he was supposed to create? One thing is for sure, he created a ton of buzz for MLS, the Galaxy and the ridiculousness that is Hollywood, but the main thing lacking from his arrival was that impact part. An aging Beckham managed to play in a whopping 5 games while racking up 2 assists and a goose egg for goals.
He was supposed to lead this team and bring MLS to the level of football/soccer that we have all been envisioning for so many years! And sure enough, that just didn’t happen in the least bit. We found ourselves waiting in suspense to see if he would actually play each night and then cheer like wildfire if he actually got in the game sometime in the second half. To cut him a little slack we have to remember he had that nagging ankle injury that just seemed to never fully go away. As he struggled to play in most of his 5 matches, the Galaxy continued to flop and wound up missing the MLS playoffs.
So where are we going with this? Well let’s take a look at Mr. Shaquille O’Neal! He has already missed 15 games due to a “nagging” hip injury and is not getting any younger at this stage in his career. The injury has shown no signs of going away and the Suns should not expect him back any time soon. Is he going to come in half way through games and try to make a few impact plays here and there? When the Suns traded for O’Neal did they actually think this aging big man could make a difference and carry them over the top?
You can start to feel the second coming of David Beckham’s flop of the century. The Phoenix Suns are not as lousy as the L.A. Galaxy and are almost a sure bet to make the playoffs, but how much of that impact do we really expect Shaq to provide? Aging star and nagging injury is never a good thing, especially when you are 300 lbs and 7 feet tall. If Shaq can fit into the style of play and Phoenix doesn’t have to completely adjust around him, things could be good come playoff time. If things do not flow so smoothly from the get go, look out for some fireworks. Good luck to the both of them. At least they have Steve Nash to hold the house together when the bricks start to rumble.