With an offseason and preseason to work with his new team, Shaq has increased his scoring average to 17.8 ppg and is still pulling down a respectable 9.1 rpg..
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Rumors of Shaquille O'Neal's "death" as a fantasy player have been greatly exaggerated.
When we last left the 7'1", 325 lb. O'Neal at the end of the 2007-08 season , it seemed that this once mighty fantasy superstar was at the end of his magnificent career. After being traded to his fourth NBA team, Phoenix (from the Miami Heat), O'Neal played 28 games with the Suns and averaged just 12.9 ppg. He always seemed hurt and never flashed that contagious smile that made us all root for "The Diesel."
It seemed the end of an era was in sight.
But don't throw dirt on "Shaq" just yet.
The 2008-09 version of the "original" Superman (no Dwight Howard's Slam Dunk contest display was the second coming of the 'Man of Steel') is showing life at 35 can still be filled with fantasy.
With an offseason and preseason to work with his new team, Shaq has increased his scoring average to 17.8 ppg and is still pulling down a respectable 9.1 rpg. Even more impressive is that he is knocking down a career-high .622- percent of his free throws. And make that .733-percent over the past week.
No, he is not the same player who averaged more than 26 ppg and at least 10.7 rpg from 1993-2003, but he is still a viable center. O'Neal is the eighth-best center over the past month, averaging 21.8 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.9 apg and 2.0 blocks. He needs, and gets, a day off every once in a while, but he is very much a valued fantasy property.
Not bad for a man we were all ready to bury just a few months ago.
Below you will find the career numbers for the greatest fantasy center of all time (They didn't play fantasy basketball in Wilt Chamberlin's era).