Sunday, June 28, 2009
AGING STARS FAIL TO BRING SUCCESS - Shaq too old to bring title to Cavs
Does acquiring an aging star bring success? The Cleveland Cavaliers attempt to find out as they traded for the aging 37 year old Shaquille O'Neal. The Cavs believe that by pairing up young and old, that elusive title will be within their grasps. Cleveland will try and follow in the footsteps of last year's NBA champs, the Boston Celtics. The Celtics used this formula by acquiring 31 year old Kevin Garnett and 32 year old Ray Allen on their way to an NBA title. But the idea of bringing in an experienced star to put a team "over-the-top" has not been very successful. The last team before Boston to win an NBA title by bringing in a veteran star that contributed more than 10 points or 10 rebounds a game and had over 10 years experience was in 1995-96, when the Bulls brought in Dennis Rodman. The Bulls with the help of Rodman''s 14 rebounds a game won their 4th NBA title.
So the Cavs are trying to buck the odds and win with an over the hill Shaq and a young LeBron, but the thing they forget is that the past is the past and Shaq is not the player he once was. He failed to get the Suns into the Finals and he is not getting any younger. The Cavs would have been much better served by bringing in a talented young center and trying to replicate the Lakers dynasty of Kobe and Pao. Shaq at 37 is not the answer to LeBron's prayers.
Top 5 Aging NBA Acquisitions That Won Titles
1. 2007-08 Boston Celtics - Kevin Garnett 31, Ray Allen 32
Garnett was wasting away in Minnesota and Allen was struggling with a bad Seattle team until they were paired in Boston. Granett's 18.8 ppg and 9 rebounds combined with Allen's 17 ppg and 40 percent 3-point shooting brought back the Celtic tradition of an NBA title.
3. 1994-95 Houston Rockets - Clyde Drexler 32
Drexler and Tracy Murray were dealt to the Rockets for Otis Thorpe and European star Marcelo Nicola. This trade united two of the main pieces of "Phi-Slamma-Jamma" and helped the Rockets repeat as champions. Drexler contributed 19 ppg at 32 years of age.
3. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls - Dennis Rodman 34
Dennis's antics in San Antonio were wearing thin and Jordan needed someone to rebound his few misses so these two were a match made in heaven. Rodman, even at 34, brought toughness and rebounded that the bulls lacked. This is the situation that the Cavs are looking to duplicate in trading for Shaq.
4. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks - Oscar Robertson 32
Oscar Robertson was traded to the Bucks in 1970 for Flynn Robinson and Charlie Paulk. What a great move this was, because he was now paired with a young Lew Alcinder. Robertson's 19 points, 8 assists and 5+ rebounds a game made Milwaukee almost unbeatable. They cruised to an NBA title by beating the Baltimore Bullets 4-0 in the finals.
5. 2005-06 Miami Heat - Gary Payton 37, Alonzo Mourning 35
The Heat brought in two aging stars that were role players on a team lead by Dwyane Wade and Shaq. Both Payton and Mourning averaged only about 7 points a game but provided the leadership that Miami needed to win a title.