When the time comes to court free agents, the Knicks should consider reserving Shaq a seat alongside David Fizdale.
(Except when it’s Kevin Durant’s turn — he and the big man share some beef).
“I never understood why top-name players wouldn’t want to come here,” O’Neal recently told TMZ of the Knicks. “If I was a youngster, Madison Avenue would be turning into Shaq Avenue. People always talk about business and business after basketball. Knicks don’t have a star player, so any superstar that comes there, Madison Avenue is going to open up them doors.”
Aside from the flattering endorsement, it seems Shaq has joined James Dolan in ignoring the existence of Kristaps Porzingis, who is still recovering from ACL surgery.
Shaq, who in November suggested Durant sign in the Big Apple should he flee Golden State this summer, is buying the Fizdale mantra that these Knicks are different.
“What I think we’ve done together with (president) Steve Mills and (GM) Scott Perry and (owner) Mr. Dolan and myself and all our staff, is we changed the perception of how we operate and treat each other and what’s important,” Fizdale said in December. “That’s the first step in getting people to come to New York. When they see we have a really tight ship, really take care of our guys, our guys get better and get a lot of attention.”
And Shaq isn’t the only NBA legend to hop on the new regime’s bandwagon.
“I think he’s already changed that perception,” Dwyane Wade told The News’ Stefan Bondy earlier this season. “Players around the league want to play for Fiz. Now that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right away because things happen – guys stay in certain places or they go team up with someone else. But if you ask every player around the league who is the coach they want to play for, Fiz’s name would come up.”
Miserable Knicks fans can only hope this will all pay off this summer.