A few years back at one of the Los Angeles Lakers' championship celebrations, Shaquille O'Neal held the microphone.
"Can you dig it?" he bellowed to the celebrating crowd. "Can you dig it?"
It was said with flair, of course, with the right words emphasized and the right words stretched out.
Shaq does nothing without flair.
The phrase comes from the movie "The Warriors," a classic, great film about a gang leader named Cyrus who tried to unite New York's gangs into one force.
"Can you dig it?" he bellowed over and over to the Central Park gathering where he announced his plan.
It's now time to ponder the gang that will be playing for the Cavaliers next season: LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal are on the same team, in Cleveland.
Can you dig it?
After a disappointing playoff exit, the Cavs again have become the talk of professional basketball.
How it works on the court ... well, that remains to be seen.
But the trade that brought O'Neal to the Cavs is one of those that will wake you right out of your sleep when it comes across the clock radio early in the morning.
O'Neal and James. Together. In Cleveland. Ohio. For the Cavs.
When was the last time something like this happened in this area?
And the Cavs got him for a bucket of nails and some old tennis shoes. The Cavs made a heist, not of the same proportions as the Pau Gasol heist by the Lakers, but a heist nonetheless.
It's not even out of the question to think the Cavs are not done this offseason.
This trade increases the likelihood of Anderson Varejao re-signing. You want to be the guy that turned down the chance to play with Shaq and LeBron?
It also increases the chances of other players being willing to come to the Cavs. When all is said and done, all the angst about James possibly leaving might be reversed into positives because of the players James attracts.
The Cavs have the draft, and the ability to sign another player.
Step one came Thursday, and in taking that step, the Cavs acquired a presence, a player and a personality of immense proportions.
O'Neal is not what he was.
There's no sense trying to claim he is.
But he averaged 18 points and eight rebounds a year ago, and he was a legitimate third-team all- NBA center.
He doesn't have to play a lot of minutes in the regular season. He can point to the playoffs, and he provides options coach Mike Brown did not have this past season.
Too, he's driven.
Every statement he has made indicates that he is dying to put a stop to the Dwight Howard phenomenon. He's belittled him, at one point calling Howard "an impostor."
The original Superman did not appreciate a young one usurping his position.
O'Neal has won a title with Kobe Bryant and another one with Dwyane Wade.
Now he has the chance to win one with James. Not a bad legacy, eh?
A title would be Shaq's fifth, and put him one ahead of Tim Duncan and on par with Bryant.
O'Neal also wants to play beyond this season, when he is due to make $20 million. What better way to earn another two-year contract than to play well for the Cavs?Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun