Getting a title for the King

Shaquille O’Neal has one purpose in Cleveland: bring an NBA title to LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

Shaquille O’Neal

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Shaquille O’Neal has one purpose in Cleveland: bring an NBA title to LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

“My motto is very simple,” the 15-time all-star centre said Thursday. “Win a ring for the King.”

Acquired in a trade last week with the Phoenix Suns, O’Neal was introduced Thursday by the Cavaliers, who believe he can be their missing piece. The city of Cleveland has been waiting since 1964 for one of its three pro sports franchises to win a championship.

During a 30-minute news conference that was more of a TV talk show featuring Shaq, the 37-year-old star said he just wants to fit in with a Cavaliers team that won 66 regular-season games last season but was eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals by the Orlando Magic.

“We have everybody in place,” said O’Neal, who has just one year left under contract but feels he can play three more seasons. “There’s no excuses. We’ve just have to get it done.”

O’Neal walked to the dais through a welcoming tunnel of kids from an area summer camp. He was presented with a No. 33 jersey and given a pair of winter boots and a snow shovel by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who is sparing no expense to bring the Cavs a championship. Cleveland is the first cold-weather city O’Neal has played in after NBA stops in Orlando, Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix.

There is a greater sense of urgency in Cleveland because James is entering his final year under contract. O’Neal insists this is “LeBron’s team” and he’s merely with the Cavs to put them over the top.

“I’ll fit in just fine,” he said. “They had a damn good team here already.”

O’Neal won three NBA titles with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers from 2000-02 and another with Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat in 2006. O’Neal believes No. 5 is possible with “the great LeBron James.”

O’Neal joked that his three sons were excited he would be paired with the league’s reigning MVP.

“My sons love LeBron more than they love me,” he said. “I’m just a little jealous about it.”

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Calgary police officer seriously injured

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says one of its officers was… Continue reading

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

MONTREAL — Canadian politicians are adding their voices to the international reaction… Continue reading

‘Four of a dozen kids will not make it:’ Tina Fontaine’s family healing together

WINNIPEG — Melissa Stevenson was just starting her career 18 years ago… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $16 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $16 million jackpot… Continue reading

Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Berlin, protected by police

BERLIN — Hundreds of neo-Nazis waving flags with the colours of the… Continue reading

Romanian trucker is Genoa bridge’s 43rd victim

GENOA, Italy — The Latest on the Italy bridge collapse (all times… Continue reading

1 dead, 6 injured after building collapse in Nigeria capital

ABUJA, Nigeria — An emergency response chief says one person is dead… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month