Shaq, LeBron Not Quite a Heavenly Match

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2009 2:44 PM CDT
In this 2006 file photo, LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal talk before an All-Star Game.   (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
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(Newser) – We're months away from the NBA season, but the scrutiny of the monster pairing of Shaq and LeBron has already begun in earnest. Can the superstars exist in harmony on one team? The Wall Street Journal sniffs out a little trouble, noting that the two haven't exactly acted like best buds since Shaq's trade to Cleveland this summer. "Everyone thinks you have to like each other to win a championship, but that's not true," says O'Neal. "You don't have to go on vacation together."

Much depends on how well the 37-year-old O'Neal—whose track record on team harmony is spotty—adjusts to a supporting role for the first time in his career. A good sign: When James, 24, noted that Shaq "doesn't have the athleticism or quickness he had as a kid," O'Neal took the diplomatic route: "It happens to the best of us." A not-so-good sign: When asked what he'd be willing to sacrifice to reach his goal of a fifth title, Shaq responded that he didn't understand the question.