The 9 most disappointing Celtics players since 2008

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3. Shaquille O’Neal

Era: Lame Duck Admin

Disappointment Points: 6

A whole year of my childhood was dotted with the local Celtics broadcast cutting to Shaquille O’Neal checking into the game with the graphic “hasn’t played in _____ games” to excited cheers from the crowd.

Those cheers were hopes that Shaq could fill the void created by Kendrick Perkins when he was traded, as even if Shaq was a third of his young self, he could still be a great bench player in a pretty weak talent era for the NBA.

But he was Just. Always. Injured. He had more cortisone shots than should be allowed to get back on the court—the jury is still out on whether I respect that or hate it—and the Celtics had a crazy good record in the games he played 20+ minutes.

But just like Rasheed Wallace, Shaq was beyond the time when his body allowed him to compete at the level the team required, and was in many ways emblematic of its impending doom.

The team was proven and grizzled behind the ultimate psycho-competitor Kevin Garnett, and Doc Rivers is a known detractor of youth movements. But once the Miami Heat curb stomped the Celtics in round two, with Shaq playing only 12 minutes, it was clear it was time for a change.