Celtic defector Tom Thibodeau reflects on the Shaq signing
Tom Thibodeau will always have a special place in the Celtic lore. While he may not have been the physical manifestation of the Boston’s remarkable Championship-level defense or knocked down clutch shots, he was as much a part of the C’s 2007 title formula as anyone. As the architect of the team D that reintroduced the Celtics to greatness, Thibs has firmly established himself among a select group in “never-have-to-buy-your-own-drink-in-Boston-again...y’know-if-people-actually-knew-what-assistant-coaches-looked-like” territory. Ya dig?
So the fact that Thibodeau is the current head coach of the Chicago Bulls doesn’t preclude him from weighing in on all things Celtics. He’s still a valued perspective among the Boston faithful, and he has enough of both a basketball and Celtic pedigree that when he speaks, the fans listen.
The floor is Thibodeau’s, from a spot on ESPN Radio via Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston, and the topic of conversation? Shaquille O’Neal:
“It’s an interesting move,” said Thibodeau. “It’s a calculated risk. I think there are things he brings to the table. I think the big thing is with [Kendrick] Perkins being out until January, and you never know how long it will take when he does come back, Perkins is a very underrated player. I think he’s a huge key to the team defense. So I think what they’re doing is trying to protect themselves until Kendrick can come back.
“Shaq is a guy you can throw the ball to. He can still get a pretty good shot up. His size is a factor. You start looking at their length up front now. They added a couple 7-footers with Jermaine O’Neal. He really had a terrific season last season with Miami, so they added some shot-blocking there. I think part of it is trying to hold the fort until Kendrick can come back, but when he does come back, you’re going to have three guys at the center position, so that could be tough. I think he does add some things to their team.”