Shaq Attack in New York Would Be a Mistake

Shaquille O'Neal isn't the right direction for these Knicks

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Outside of the death of George Steinbrenner, it's been an awfully slow week in the world of sports. That's left a lot of time for catching up with other pursuits, checking in with friends flung far and wide and idly thumbing your way through the Twitterverse instead of watching games on a Wednesday night.

    Sometimes that can pay off and fill the void left by the absence of athletics. Brian Windhorst, the Cavs beat man for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, fired off 140 characters that chilled the soul a little bit.

    Knicks have some interest in Shaquille O'Neal and may discuss a sign-and-trade option with #Cavs, league source says.

    For a moment, we hoped that there was some kind of time vortex that threw us back in time by a decade. Perhaps it was July 15th, 2000, and the Knicks were about to land a true successor to Patrick Ewing and the last 10 years of Knicks basketball really were just a bad dream.

    Allan Houston, Latrell Sprewell and Shaq together? Start planning the parades, baby! You can bet they will be shaking hands with President Gore more than once.

    Alas, a look out the window confirmed that the World Trade Center isn't there and flipping on NY1 found Roger Clark outside the funeral of Bob Sheppard and the Shaquille O'Neal in question is the one who could barely haul himself up and down the court in Cleveland last season. The same O'Neal, in fact, who played for Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix and looked about as comfortable in an up-tempo offense as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

    The Knicks have already sold out season tickets for this season, they don't need to do something like this to sell seats. Even if they did, would you really want to invite the kind of people who enjoy watching the current version of O'Neal play ball? Let them stick to pulling the wings of flies and writing letters to various public figures that their addled brains are convinced have done them wrong.

    This offseason may not have gone perfectly for the Knicks but there's a fairly intriguing little team coming together right now. It's young, energetic and filled with guys who seem custom built to play for a team coached by D'Antoni. It would take a basketball mind like Isiah Thomas's to think that O'Neal has a place on a roster like that.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.