When it happened, LeBron James going to Miami was pretty shocking. At first glance, a guy leaving the only team he’s ever known for a chance to join an already established superstar’s team was unusual. Of course, when you really think about it, a 25-year-old deciding he wants to play basketball with his friends while hanging out down by the beach makes a lot of sense. But for those first few minutes, it was a strange feeling.
So strange, in fact, that even Shaquille O’Neal thought it was a hoax. From Pat McManamon at FanHouse:
“I thought it was a joke,” Shaquille O’Neal said when he heard of “The Decision.”
“I thought he was coming back,” said O’Neal, now a member of the Celtics. “When I got the e-mail that he was going to Miami, I said, ‘Stop playing.’”
Outside of the people who watched “The Decision,” I’d bet that was a pretty common reaction. Considering so many people were angry at LeBron’s choice, it’s safe to say that just as many people assumed that he was coming back to the Cavaliers. You don’t get mad about something you know is going to happen.
But Shaq being surprised is kind of crazy. Of all people, you’d think Shaq would have been hip to the situation. Not only did he play with LeBron for a year, but opponents love him and he knows everybody because he’s been around for so many years. Him being in the dark is strange.
That being said, when you’re online as much as Shaq is, you probably get a lot of junk email. I’m sure it was easy to lump “LeBron’s going to Miami” in with all the Nigerian prince schemes, boner pills and weight loss solutions. Sounds like his spam filters need some tweaking.