Shaquille O’Neal guarantees Boston would have defeated Miami in 2011’s conference semifinals if he were healthy

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After 18 campaigns in the NBA, Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal decided to end his career with one last spell playing for the Celtics in the 2010/11 season. That Boston squad was having a great campaign until they faced LeBron James and Dwayne Wade’s Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals, as Miami ended as that year’s runner up to the title.

The famous center was suffering from injuries during that series, and was limited to only 12 minutes of play during the five clashes between both sides. As the rivalry continues to this day, and Miami lead the current series 3-0, Shaq assures that back in the day they would’ve beaten the Florida franchise if he was healthy.

“I always think that if I wouldn’t have got hurt, we could have at least made it to The Finals,” O’Neal recalled about that clash back in 2011. “I always say that. I wish Danny (Ainge) didn’t trade Perk (Kendrick Perkins) that year, because, I mean, we were like No. 1 throughout the whole year.

“I was just a role player then, but if we’d have made it to this thing, I would have f***** LeBron and D-Wade up in the playoffs. I promise I would have. That would have been my role. Like, as soon as they come to the hole, touch ’em up.”

To be completely honest, O’Neal was right at the end of his decorated career, so it’s doubtful he would’ve had the impact he wishes he had. There’s a reason why he suffered so many injuries in his last spell and decided to have one more go in Massachusetts.

The other thing is, a decade ago Miami was one of the strongest teams in the NBA, and went all the way to the NBA Finals only to lose to the Dallas Mavericks as they earned their first league title in franchise history.

Here are some of Shaq’s best highlights wearing the green jersey: