JULY 20 -- Shaquille O'Neal made a promise to Heat fans on Tuesday. We will know whether he made good on that promise about 10 months from now.

After arriving with his wife Shaunie in Miami in an 18-wheeler that had his likeness and the words "Diesel Power" on the side, Shaq swore to the Heat fans gathered in front of American Airlines Arena that they would be here again.

"Miami, remember this feeling," Shaq said to the cheering crowd. "I'm going to bring a championship to Miami. I promise."

They took that promise to heart, as it was love at first sight for Heat fans and South Florida officials. And what a first sight it was. Upon stepping out of the 18-wheeler, Shaq showered them with a smile and then sprayed the fans with a super-soaker water gun.

Watch: News conference
See: Photo gallery
Moments after making his way through the crowd and up the red carpet, South Florida government officials, including one who called him "Mr. Shaq," praised him and gave him keys to the city and the county.

Welcome to Miami, Shaq. Take our town, please. One can only imagine what they will do in South Florida for O'Neal if he does help deliver an NBA title. The only keys left to give Shaq after Tuesday's ceremonies are the Florida Keys.

After Heat officials revealed a billboard on the side of the American Airlines Arena featuring his likeness in a Heat jersey, Shaq ducked his considerable frame inside the arena to meet the South Florida media. He kept them thoroughly entertained by asking them to get in shape and, at one point, jokingly asked whether they wanted to see his butt.

But when it came to basketball, Shaq was serious about his commitment to his new team. Well, as serious as Shaq can be at a press conference.

"Am I going to re-dedicate myself?" Shaq repeated. "That would be correct, young man. One-thousand percent correct, buddy."

Shaq paused, smiled and pointed to the reporter.

"Tough guy. You want a piece of me?" he said, laughing. "I will be in top physical condition and I urge all of you to get in shape with me."

One part of the Heat that needs no shaping up is guard Dwyane Wade. Shaq had nothing but praise for the young guard, even going as far as to say the Miami Heat belong to Wade.

Heat GM Randy Pfund, coach Stan Van Gundy, Shaquille O'Neal and Heat president Pat Riley are all smiles on Tuesday.
Eliot J. Schechter/NBAE/Getty Images
"It's Dwyane Wade's team," Shaq said. "I'm his big brother. He's the point guard and I'm the big brother and we're going to do this."

As much as Shaq noted that the Heat belonged to the young Olympian-to-be, Heat president Pat Riley noted during his formal introduction of O'Neal that if a team wanted to win a title, it needed a dominant big man. Riley noted that he played with Wilt and coached Kareem, which left him feeling extremely fortunate to have acquired O'Neal.

"He's the most dominant player in the world," Riley said.

Shaq hopes his presence will help the Heat become much better than they were last season.

"They didn't have a lot of talent on their team, but they had a great team," O'Neal said. "I wanted to come to a great team.

"You can't do it by yourself, no matter how great you are or how great you think you are. You can't do it."

Now it's up to Shaq to make good on his promise to make the Heat the greatest team in the NBA.


Shaquille O'Neal is one of the more quotable players in the NBA. On Tuesday, he had the stage to himself. Here are some of the better quotes from his introductory press conference in Miami.

"I came to Miami for one reason only, I wanted to hear coach [Stan] Van Gundy stop yelling, 'Three seconds! Three seconds! Get him out of the lane!' and start yelling, 'They're foulin' him, they're foulin' him!'"
-- On why he came to Miami

"I don't believe in pressure. Pressure is not knowing where your next meal is coming from."
-- On whether or not he feels pressure to succeed in Miami

"Rollin' up, I was telling my wife that I felt like the president."
-- On his entrance in the 18-wheeler (O'Neal followed that statement by humming, "Hail to the Chief")

"I get all that treatment because I'm sexy."
-- On his reception in Miami, including why chefs have offered to make his favorite dish

-- On whether he thought about returning to L.A. to play for the Lakers in the upcoming season

"If [Wade] gets fouled hard, they'll get fouled hard. He's a great team player and I believe that teams have always belonged to guards. He's a special guard. I've never played with a guard that special."
-- On whether Dwyane Wade can expect back-up if the play gets physical

"Would you like to kiss it?"
-- To a reporter, who asked about the opulent ring O'Neal wore on his left hand.

"I just bought a house on the beach and my wife likes to see me naked. So, if you take pictures of me naked on the beach, don't sell them to the National Enquirer. If you do, I get 15 percent."
-- On his new living arrangements in Miami. He later upped the price for pictures to 20 percent.