Tas Melas from The Basketball Jones
1. How has it worked out? It hasn't. The Suns didn't make it past the 5th game of the playoffs last season. Shaq was brought in to the play the Spurs and the window closed that much more after that playoff exit. The team didn't have Shaq for the full year in '07-'08 so you have to give them at least one more season to make it work. Midway through that season, his coach gets fired - definitely not Shaq's fault, but Stoudemire's injury was! Now, the only way Shaq and the Suns can make this trade a successful one is if they make a long playoff run, and I'm talking NBA Finals. The old Suns showed they were capable of making it to the Conference Final. If it's any year, this is likely the only one it can be done, although Shaq is looking like he has legs left. It's really unfortunate Amar'e went down.
2. If I could go back, I would definitely reverse the trade. Steve Kerr may not agree with that, but when he fired Porter, he made the decision that the uptempo game is where the Suns butter their bread. Kerr would tell you Shaq could be a part of that and that's difficult to argue with the show he's putting on right now. What is clear though (because of Stoudemire's injury) is '09-'10 will be the only upcoming year that he'll have both Amar'e and Shaq together, playing in decent shape. Would you trade Marion knowing you'd have one shot at going deep with a 36-year-old center? I'm sure even Kerr would rather let Marion walk for nothing rather than take a chance on one title, with one aged team, which includes an unhappy 27-year-old Stoudemire.
3. I would have put Marion on program covers, got media members to interview him pre, mid and post game, sent my kid to jump on his leg and never let go, etcetera. Marion is an extrmemely special fit for the uptempo system that you just don't find very often and I would have done everything in my power to make him happy, which means give him the pub his ego demands. If it hadn't worked out and we were approaching the trade deadline this past February, I would have to sit down and evaluate the position of my team and make a move accordingly. Knowing what Kerr knows now, and having converted back to that style of play, I would have continued with the status quo, while trying to change his outlook.