The son will rise for Phoenix again | other | Hindustan Times
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The son will rise for Phoenix again

Shaquille O' Neal has achieved everything there is to achieve in professional basketball. The 7ft 1 centre-back, currently playing for the Phoenix Suns, has won the NBA championship with two different teams, reports Sahil Sharma.

other Updated: Feb 10, 2009 23:06 IST
Sahil Sharma

Shaquille O' Neal has achieved everything there is to achieve in professional basketball. The 7ft 1 centre-back, currently playing for the Phoenix Suns, has won the NBA championship with two different teams --- Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heats --- and has been voted thrice as the Most Valuable Player. He is also a renowned rapper and a movie star. Life couldn't have been better.

But 'Shaq' as he is globally called, has another reason to smile as his current home city is set to host the NBA All Star game on February 15.

"It's great to have the game here in Phoenix. I can stay at my house and have a good time. I always enjoy playing host, so it'll be fun."

A 15-time All Star, the second highest in the history of the NBA, Shaq takes a lot of pride in his participation in the star-studded match.

"I've just been lucky and blessed to be able to attend them, and play with the guys that I grew up watching. It's an honour to be named to that many All Star games. I've seen three phases of the All Star game. I can remember coming in and seeing the greats like Charles Barkley, Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins and then seeing the emergence of Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson and all those guys. Now I'll get to play with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. When I came into the league I was a young ninja, but now I'm the shogun as one of the more veteran guys in the league."

The All Star weekend is considered an extended party with all the players having a gala time, even during the match. But for Shaq it's competition when he steps on the court.

"All of them have been great memories for me. It is going to be fun and bring back old memories to be on the same bench with Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant again. Hopefully, we can get a win for the west and have a good time."