shaq joins cleveland

Shaquille O’Neal is old but still good (and big) enough to contribute positively to a team. I worry that he’ll throw Cleveland Cavaliers chemistry off a bit this season, though.  Even if he’s more effective than Zydrunas Ilgauskas for stretches, Big Z can hit open mid-range jumpers that Shaq can’t make.

Anyway, Cleveland welcomed Shaq to town in style. The AP reports:

Shaq got in one last party before training camp.

Shaquille O’Neal, the big man Cleveland is counting on to deliver this championship-starved city a title, was welcomed to town Sunday with a star-studded party that included sports celebrities and Average Joes looking to rub elbows with them.

Fashionably late, O’Neal arrived in an SUV at 11:15 p.m. as fans, one of them holding a life-size cardboard cutout of O’Neal in an Orlando Magic uniform, cheered on the sidewalks and took pictures of the town’s newest superstar, who will be teammates with reigning league MVP LeBron James.

O’Neal has had a good first impression of Cleveland.

”It’s a nice town,” he said. ”The entertainment is already here. Everything is here. The Browns are here, LeBron is here and now I’m here.”

NBA preseason begins this Thursday.