Going Green has been the popular thing to do, recycling old parts to preserve the environment and ensure our future.  The Boston Celtics have applied the Green-effect in the only way an NBA team can, they have added experienced veteran players to their roster. 

Celtic management has always taken chances on players who were labeled as difficult or their playing days were coming to an end.  Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton, James Posey, Sam Cassell, P.J. Brown, and Stephon Marbury are veterans that come to mind.  

Some worked out and others were unceremoniously dumped or priced themselves out of town because of their massive egos. All became non-entities after leaving the Celtics.

In this latest reclamation project, Danny Ainge has now literally taken on the only player that can aptly be nicknamed "The Jolly Green Giant," Shaquille O'Neal.  The Celtics signed Shaq to a two-year contract for the veterans’ minimum.

Many may see this as a sign of desperation and disrespect to his legacy, but it may be the shrewdest marketing move of his career. Imagine him doing commercials with the Green Giant Food Company.  Lucky the Leprechaun can aptly be renamed "Little Sprout" as he and O'Neal cavort around the GAH-DEN floor and take advantage of the obvious cliche' that comes with Shaq. 

The marketing opportunities are endless.

Some of my fellow bloggers (Harrison Moore of Bleacher Report) are saying Shaq has lost all credibility; I beg to differ. Unlike LeBron James, Shaq has secured his legacy already and did not shun the fans that have supported him. 

People forget that Robert Parrish, a member of the original 'Big Three,' joined Michael Jordan in Chicago and got another ring. No one condemned him for doing that, yet everyone is crying foul because Shaq did the same thing.

The prevailing sentiment is he will bog down the offense like he did in Cleveland, thereby preventing Rajon Rondo from penetrating the lane.  Comparing the two offenses in terms of how they operate is taking a myopic view of what he brings to the table.

First of all, the Celtics have a more balanced attack; they have more weapons that they can surround him with.  Also, he will no longer be a starter or a major player in the offense.

Boston has legitimate shooters they can surround him with and believe it or not, it makes Rondo's job easier.  Besides adding frontcourt depth, Shaq will allow Rondo to get much needed rest.

As Rondo went so did the Celtic offense; now Doc Rivers can afford to give Nate Robinson more playing time, and rookie Avery Bradley will have the luxury of easing into the system.

Doc can surround him with legitimate shooters, and Kevin Garnett is a smart enough defender to help cover up his mistakes on defense. 

There were rumors of pending deals with the Atlanta Hawks, and the Celtics were not in serious contention for his services. In spite of the front office divide on this acquisition, Danny Ainge stayed true to his nature and took a gamble on an aging player.

The beauty of this offseason move for the Celtics is they added depth without sacrificing their future. Ainge and Celtic management are playing for now without losing flexibility.

Boston is now a more dangerous team than Miami in spite of the new triumvirate in South Beach. Wade and LeBron are primarily slashers; with Shaq in the middle they will be a little bit reluctant to go to the rim with abandon.


The Celtics can field a team that has speed, size, or quickness; not many teams can do this without losing their identity.  

They know it is the second season that matters and have accurately assessed, for the last two years, who was the team to beat in the East.

There is the prevailing attitude that the Miami Heat is the preseason favorite like Cleveland was last year.

The lads in Green saw that it was the Orlando Magic that was the most threatening, and they were right. They beat the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.

If experience and defense wins championships, adding a four-time champion to a two-time NBA Finals participant has made Boston the team to beat, not the Miami Heat.