It's more like a changing of the guard. Shaq is declining while Yao is entering his prime years. It was bound to happen and I was expecting it to come with Shaq playing in his 15th season.
I still believe Shaq can still be productive and help The Heat make a run in the playoffs, and next season too , but it looks like the "Shaq era" in the NBA is coming to an end. The Year of Yao is upon us, I see rumblings in Orlando with Dwight Howard, The Lakers have a young talented big man in Andrew Bynum, Amare looks like he's returnning to the unstoppable form he once had, and across the horizon I see the shadow of Gred Oden emerging.