He seems to have won over the straggling skeptics with his typically shrewd humble charm during his introductory press conference Tuesday. But I'll still never understand why anyone thought the signing of Shaquille O'Neal was a bad idea in the first place.
The Celtics might own an 18th championship banner had they had any semblance of inside scoring against the Lakers, and Shaq's shoulder-to-the-chest, shoulder-to-the-chest, hop-step-and-dunk move is still as go-to as go-to gets. He's well-aware of his role -- if you think Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers are anything but straight shooters, you haven't been paying attention to how deftly they've juggled egos the past couple of seasons by taking one primary approach -- brutal honesty. Yeah, he's little more than a semi-effective roadblock on the defensive end, but we'll assume Lawrence Frank will channel his inner Thibodeau and find a way to hide him for 22 minutes a game. And I mean, hell, he's Shaq!, owner of a secure place on the NBA's list of all-time great players and all-time great comedians. And he's here for the veteran's minimum. What's not to love?
That's a question pretty much every sports media outlet is considering as it angles to have one of the NBA's most recognizable and personable players become a part of their programming. I wrote about this a little bit in today's media column, which you can find here.
I noted in the column that WEEI program director Jason Wolfe didn't return messages; turns out he did, only after last night's column was filed and I was trying to decide if the first preseason game is too soon to talk myself into a Brandon Spikes jersey. My bad there. Anyway, Wolfe acknowledged WEEI's interest in Shaq -- and logically, he will probably end up there rather than on The Sports Hub given that the station is the Celtics' radio home -- joking:
"... He's going to be awesome for us. He's already agreed to co-emcee the Whiney Awards next year with Tony V. In all seriousness, he's a huge personality that will fit this town perfectly and I'm sure you'll hear him quite a bit on WEEI."
Wherever we hear him, this much is certain: It will be appointment listening.
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Wolfe also responded to a query about WEEI's plans for Patriots programming, with the most notable news being that Bob Neumeier will take over as the host of "The Real Postgame Show." Longtime host Pete Sheppard was let go by the station in January.
Neumeier, whom we wrote about last week -- my reader e-mail offered 100 percent approval of him as a radio host, which was unprecedented in my inbox -- had been pulling off the impressive feat of contributing to both WEEI and The Sports Hub.
A source indicated last week that he had been asked to stop contributing to The Sports Hub while he was working for WEEI, and Wolfe confirmed that Neumeier will now have an expanded role at the station.
"Neumy is going to be a regular with us during the football season, hosting with [returning co-hosts] Fred [Smerlas] and Steve [DeOssie] after Patriots games, in addition to consistent appearances on
Glenn's show, and co-hosting on Monday nights with Mike Adams prior to 'Monday Night Football.' "
Other notes regarding WEEI's football programming:
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.