Shaquille O’Neal Turkey Talk Nothing for Celtics Fans to Worry About

OK, we get it.

Shaquille O'Neal is a big celebrity. He's one of the NBA's all-time greats, he's a rapper and a movie star, and he's starred in more commercials than Peyton Manning and the late Wendy's founder Dave Thomas put together. (Fine, I made that last one up.)

So any time any kind of story breaks about Shaq, it's newsworthy. Anything at all — whether it's a 20-point performance at the TD Garden, or a charity event he hosts, or even just a photo shoot for a magazine.

But can't we draw a line somewhere?

Wouldn't we all be better off without hearing inane speculation that Shaq was headed to Turkey next year?

Yes, you read that right. Shaquille O'Neal, currently signed to a two-year contract with the Celtics, arguably the best all-around basketball team in the world today, is rumored to be leaving Boston and leaving the NBA to play for Besiktas, the Turkish club that signed Allen Iverson back in late October.

Apparently Shaq isn't content to be a headliner in Boston, competing for an NBA championship. He'd rather wallow away in obscurity halfway around the world.

Nothing against Turkey — I hear the weather is sunny, the architecture is stunning and the basketball's surprisingly not bad. Turkey gave us Ersan Ilyasova, Hedo Turkoglu and Celtic sensation Semih Erden, so its hoops culture can't be all bad. But this is Shaquille O'Neal, one of the legends of the game, and surely he can do better.

A generous handful of players have made the transition from the Turkish game to the NBA. Rarely do you see the move in the other direction — that's a step backwards, and it's reserved for guys like Iverson who have exhausted all other options.

Shaquille O'Neal is a Celtic. He's loving it, and he's got no reason not to. Some speculation is best ignored.

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