PHOENIX (AP) _ Shaquille O'Neal met the media today, one day after being traded from Miami to Phoenix, and promises to bring experience and leadership to help his new team "get over the hump'' and win an NBA title.
The 14-time All Star says he just wants to make everyone better and "fit in to a damn good team.''
The trade that sent O'Neal to the Valley of the Sun is one of the most unexpected in league history. The blockbuster deal that sent Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Heat was put together in just a few days under first-year Phoenix general manager Steve Kerr.
O'Neal turns 36 next month and has been hobbled by injuries the past few years. That's prompted a load of criticism from Phoenix fans. They feel the Suns acquired a once-great big man far past his prime who will stifle the club's trademark up-tempo game.
But coach Mike D'Antoni and the Suns players say they are elated and believe O'Neal will be reinvigorated by the move and become a crucial component of their title run.