I’m here to win a ring for the King,says Shaq at Cleveland unveiling

His nickname hasn’t arrived. His motto with Cleveland is already in place. “Win a Ring for the King,” Shaquille O’Neal said in announcing his goal to help LeBron James get his first NBA championship...

Written by Associated Press | Independence (ohio) | Published: July 4, 2009 2:59 am

His nickname hasn’t arrived. His motto with Cleveland is already in place. “Win a Ring for the King,” Shaquille O’Neal said in announcing his goal to help LeBron James get his first NBA championship

Dressed smartly in a black suit,pink shirt and matching tie,the inimitable Shaq was introduced on Thursday for the first time as a member of the Cavaliers,who traded for the 15-time All-Star center last week with the belief that he can end this city’s title drought.

Alternately joking,laughing and turning serious when the topic turned to basketball,O’Neal,who has won four titles,said he’s got a lot left and that he plans to play three more seasons. “There’s only four or five good centres in this league,and I’m in that number,” he said.

O’Neal held court for nearly a half hour as only the big man can. In front of an audience that included Cavs owner Dan Gilbert,media members,season-ticket holders,corporate partners and kids from a summer camp,O’Neal gave Cleveland fans their first glimpse of what’s in store next year — and maybe beyond.

Joined by his wife,Shaunie,O’Neal was calm,comedic and oozing — as always — with confidence. Clutching the microphone and delivering answers in his unmistakable,bottomless baritone,he addressed topics ranging from a possible contract extension to James’s future to his Twitter page to a budding rivalry with Orlando centre Dwight Howard.

The Cavs lost to the Magic in the Eastern Conference finals this season partly because they had no interior answer for Howard. Now,they do. “We will not have to double (team) anybody and you can underline that 100 times,we won’t have to double anybody,” he said.

O’Neal feels he can still dominate. In the past,he has taken shots at the 21-year-old Howard,who has stolen Shaq’s Superman moniker and seems to be following O’Neal’s sneaker prints to stardom. Make no mistake,O’Neal believes he’s still the NBA’s ruling enforcer.

“I’m still here. I’m a force to be reckoned with… you have to come take my spot,and not through Twitter and not through the media,come take my spot. I’m ready to go. As big men in the league,there are two who have done something special during this millennium. I’m one and Tim Duncan is the other. Anyone else has to come upstairs and see the Shogun. I’m still the Shogun.”

O’Neal’s only focus is on warming James with a title. “It’s LeBron’s team,” he said. “He’s the captain. This is the time in my career where I can fit in. I’m now in the security business. My job is to protect the King,and that’s what I’m here to do.”

As for a new nickname,the man called Shaq Daddy,The Big Diesel,The Big Aristotle,Shaq Fu and others,said he hasn’t settled on one yet for Cleveland.

“A friend of mine tweeted me with the Big Freeze,” O’Neal said. “I don’t know about that one yet.”

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