Shaq arrives in Cleveland
CLEVELAND -- Shaquille O'Neal took his first look at his new basketball home.
The 15-time All-Star center toured the Cavaliers' suburban practice facility and took his physical on Wednesday, one day before he is formally introduced as superstar LeBron James' newest teammate.
O'Neal and a small group of associates met briefly with Cavs coach Mike Brown and others at the Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence, Ohio. The Cavaliers are hoping O'Neal, who has won four NBA titles, can be the missing piece to help James win his first championship and end the city's title drought dating to 1964.
The Cavaliers have scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference on Thursday to welcome O'Neal. He was acquired in a trade with the Phoenix Suns last week.
It is not known if James, who was vacationing outside the country when O'Neal was traded, will be at the news conference. The league MVP was in Los Angeles last Sunday for the BET Awards.
O'Neal, who will wear jersey No. 33 -- his high school and college number -- in Cleveland, is staying at a posh downtown hotel during this visit. He hasn't decided if he will buy a house, rent or stay in a hotel during his time with the Cavaliers, his fifth NBA team.
Cleveland is the first cold-weather city where O'Neal has played after stops in Orlando, Fla., Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix.
O'Neal has one season left under contract, but the 37-year-old center recently indicated on his Twitter page that he can play three more seasons.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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