Tag:Dwyane Wade
Posted on: September 30, 2011 7:37 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 7:49 pm

EOB Roundtable: Wade's words

By EOB staff

Dwyane Wade's comments to Yahoo! Sports in an article published Friday riled everyone up. Player advocates and hardcore capitalists leapt to defend the comments since, by any and all accounts, he was correct. Meanwhile, pretty much everyone else mimicked vomiting since approximately no one wants to hear a player making $16 million per year talk about being underpaid. It should be noted that not once in the excerpted comments in the article did Wade say the word "underpaid." He was just responding honestly to a question asked of him. 

But is honesty in this instance, with the surrounding circumstances, appropriate? The league and the players' union met Friday afternoon in the midst of a lockout that threatens the entire 2011-2012 season. The players' union is desperately clinging to unity from all its members, role players and stars alike, and Wade very seriously undermined that by essentially saying "the people come to see the superstars." The problem is that means the people do not come to see the role players, who make up the vast majority of the league. 

In a poll on the CBSSports.com FaceBook page,  340 people (90+ percent) voted "no" on the question of "Is Dwyane Wade or any other NBA star worth $50 million a year?" That's a ridiculous percentage, and shows you where people stand on athletes. The players have come a long way in this lockout in terms of convincing people they're right in this dispute, but comments like Wade's threaten to wipe out that good will. So was Wade right or wrong to speak his mind on the issue, when prompted? We decided to debate it in this week's roundtable. We've inserted some tweets from the conversation Friday we thought were relevant.   

Matt Moore:  My problem is not that Wade's wrong. He's 100% on target. There's almost no way to argue with the fact that superstar players would garner more on the open market without a cap. My biggest response, though, is that that money that he thinks should go to him comes from the players who make him a superstar. Without the Udonis Haslems, without the, heck, Mario Chalmers of the world, Wade doesn't win and then isn't a superstar. Does he expect those guys to make what they make now AND for him to make $50 million? There's got to be a line somewhere, and this from a guy who has been solidly anti-owner throughout the lockout. 

The second issue is this. Could Wade's timing have been any worse? We're on the verge of Judgment Day in the negotiations, the owners are starting to bend a bit, the union is holding together a fragile peace with the extremist agents, and Wade fires out an interview that manages to upset owners saying they're worth more than they're paid and the role players who make up the majority of the union. Seriously, you couldn't have waited another three weeks to go pimp your new sponsorship court-traction thingie?
The point remains that Wade severely hurt the PR war that the players were so close to actually winning this time. Even if he was right.
via Twitter / @noamschiller: The point remains that Wad ....

Ben Golliver:The timing is terrible and the underlying message totally undercuts the whole idea of having stars in the room to show solidarity. There's no worse way to show solidarity than to point out the fact that the only thing keeping you from making 10 times your brethren is that dang annoying salary cap. I almost feel sorry for Billy Hunter. Brutal. Going back to Wade's statement, though, for a moment: he is definitely right. His point has really crystallized during this offseason for me, the idea that the real drivers of massive, widespread interest are superstar players and franchise brands. Replacement-level players have never felt so replaceable, not when their "Lockout League" draws literally dozens of fans and not when the overseas offers are coming in at a tiny fraction of what they would make in the NBA. You make a great point that stars need scrubs and vice versa but Wade is factually correct to say that the earning power of elite players like himself is massively crippled by the current NBA financial system. It probably would have been a good idea if he had paid a bit of respect to the league's machine and his fellow teammates for helping him become elite in the first place, though.
This is pretty simple, actually. If you make $15.5 million a year - before counting the T-Mobile money - you're not underpaid.
via Twitter / @charliezegers: This is pretty simple, act ....

Matt Moore: Can he honestly reasonably expect an NBA owner to be able to afford $50 million and field a team? I mean, look, I've criticized the league as much as anyone for how they've wasted their revenues outside of player salaries, and very few buy the statements from the league regarding losses. But the NBA doesn't make that much. It's the third most popular pro sport and that has consequences. I guess to me there's a difference between market value as established by their earning potential and market value based on the actual market they operate in. And their NBA market value isn't extremely overvalued. Maybe a bit. Not extremely.  It's a good thing that public perception has played zero part in these negotiations, because even though Wade never said the word "underpaid" once, the public backlash is not going to be kind 

Ben Golliver:
 Sure we (and Wade) can absolutely expect an NBA owner to afford $50 million in a system with no salary cap. Not every owner will be able to keep up but there are plenty who would secretly relish the opportunity to spend without rules getting in the way. That's why the cap exists in the first place: to restrain owners from overspending wildly in the pursuit of a title. 

To your point, though, I'm not arguing that a select group of stars is getting a totally raw deal here. We've seen this summer that the NBA market worth of a superstar is far greater than the same player's worth anywhere else in the world and it's not close. Asking superstars to give up some percentage of their total theoretical earning power to help support the entire system and ensure that the average salary for non-superstars remains healthy isn't a war crime. And that's why, to me, Wade doesn't sound like he's whining about it. I think he and other stars realize they still have it better than 99.9% percent of Americans and 99.9% of their fellow professional athletes.

Royce Young: Here's what sticks out to me most about Wade's comments: It's just really illustrates how far from reality all these players are. And rightfully so. Whether we want to accept it or not, an NBA player isn't your normal member of society. It should've started making more sense during these labor negotiations -- the world we all live in isn't the same as the one the owners and players live in. It's just the truth.
does that mean that non-superstars are worth much less than paid?
via Twitter / @crossoverdrib: @EyeOnBasketball @WojYahoo .... Which is why I don't blame Wade at all for saying what he thinks. Especially since its truth. We all gripe about billionaires arguing with millionaires about money during a time where the country has record high unemployment rates, but that's OUR world, not theirs. Once we all start accepting that a little more, the less frustrated we'll be the next time some NBA player talks about needing a new contract so he can feed his family. 

Matt Moore: Sorry, I'm not willing to excuse them as some sort of God-like beings. Dude puts his pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us. I don't dispute that what he said was accurate, but I also don't believe that saying what's accurate is always the best course of action. He was asked a question and he answered it honestly and with some degree of accuracy, but that doesn't mean it's not going to insult your average fan, who, by the way, drives his value to be worth $25 million or $50 million or whatever he makes. 

Royce Young: No, it's certainly a lack of self-awareness, which is something Wade has had issues with in the past. But let's be honest here: Do NBA playersreally cares about fans? I mean that in a sense outside of just thanking them enough so that they renew their season tickets and keep buying his jersey. I don't think he gives a crap what the average fan thinks about him. Like I said, most are fairly divorced from reality. Once they became superstars, much less just NBA players, they weren't like you and I anymore. Especially not in their own mind.  I'm definitely a person that's annoyed when professional athletes get lifted to a pedalstal, but then again, it just kind of happens by default. I mean, we pay to watch them do their job! If there were people at my door every morning lining up to buy $75 tickets to watch me type, I might get the feeling that I'm a little better, or at least a bit more valued, than your normal everyman.
This is exactly why people resent the players. There's no way in this economy we should be sympathetic to Wade's salary.
via Twitter / @demeatloaf: @HPbasketball This is exac ...

Ben Golliver:Fans are one of many things we have come to take for granted in the great, functioning NBA machine. They're a giant, amorphous blob that are talked about a lot more when they don't show up to playoff games than when they do. A few fan bases get singled out for their particular passion but that's about it. A year, or even months away, could serve as a reminder to players, media and teams alike that fans aren't a guaranteed part of this equation forever. The NBA has been setting revenue records but labor disagreements always tend to turn off a sizable chunk of people. Not to continually defend Wade here, but he's far from the only person that doesn't fully consider the totality of the fan issue.

I guess to wrap this up I would say that the time to make this statement was not now. It was back in January at All-Star Weekend, if not earlier, when labor strategies were still being discussed and there were still legit options open. At this point, on the brink of postponing the regular season, Wade managed to throw a monkey wrench into the public discourse and could well find himself and other players catching more flak than they deserve if the news out of this weekend's negotiations isn't good.
Wade could have said what he said, added "and we've accepted that for the greater good" and it would've been fine
via Twitter / @TheAkronHammer: @HPbasketball @mBunchHeat ...
Posted on: September 30, 2011 4:46 pm

Wade's trying to pioneer a new basketball thing

Posted by Royce Young

Remember those shoes that had springs in them and could supposedly make you jump higher? "Banned by the NBA!" Remember that?

Well there's a new innovation and Dwyane Wade is really repping it. Except this time, it's got the NBA stamp of approval. Basically, it's something that's supposed to cut down on slipping and sliding on the court.

It's called "Court Grip" and according to the New York Times, it's an "acetone-based solution that is designed to clean sneaker soles and restore their tackiness. The product was developed by Mission Athletecare, which brought in Wade as a partner."

Wade said of it: "I first tried it in Milwaukee, and I felt the difference immediately," said Wade. He says the product is "something that can change the game."

“My game is about traction,” Wade said. “If I don’t have that ground underneath me, it changes the way I play.”

There's a reason why this is not like the jumpy shoes. Now, already the NBA uses an adhesive type thing to try and enhance court traction called "Slipp-Nott". Players generally step on a sticky pad at midcourt that pulls dirt and debris off their sneakers before walking on the hardwood. Wade says the effects of Slipp-Nott only last a couple of seconds though.

But if this product can reduce injuries caused by wet or slippery spots? I'm all for it. Stuff happens. People spill drinks. Arenas with hockey ice underneath sometimes perspirate. It's going to be available in every NBA arena next season, so it's not like anyone's getting an edge on someone else.

Wade helped design it and basically it's a roll-on deodorant/shoe polish type of thing that just adds a bunch of grip on the bottom of your shoes. Kind of basketball's version of pine tar, I guess. It doesn't actually make the sole sticky, but "increases adhesion with the floor." Somehow.

Every pickup player has another solution: Spit on your hands and wipe the bottom of your shoe. We've all done it a billion times when playing in some dirty gym. But supposedly this new polish could fix that. The creators of Slipp-Nott aren't a fan obviously, as their product could become obsolete. But I'm all for product advancement and Court Gripp certainly feels like progress.

Especially since Dwyane Wade says so.
Category: NBA
Posted on: September 30, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 11:43 am

Wade: NBA stars worth far more than they earn

Posted by Ben Golliverdwyane-wade

Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade is set to bring in a salary of $15.7 million in the 2011-2012 season. According to Wade, the value of an NBA superstar is such that he might make more than three times that salary if the league didn't have a salary cap in place.

Yahoo Sports asked him what the going rate for a franchise star would be. Here was the response.
“I’m sure it would get to $50 million,” Wade told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday afternoon.

“In terms of driving revenue, if the NBA had no cap, the compensation would be totally different,” Wade said. “Like baseball, where they have no cap, you see the players that they feel fill arenas, that people come out to see, A-Rod, those kind of guys, look at how much money they make on their deals.

“You’ve got guys – starting with Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kobe and LeBron – all players that individually people wanted to come to see. And wanted to just have a glimpse, just one glimpse, to be able to say that I’ve seen that person play. For what they’ve done for the game, what they’ve done for organizations, I don’t think you can really put a dollar amount on it.”

The only real flaw in what Wade said is that perhaps he lowballed the number. If the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls, or billionaires like Mark Cuban and Paul Allen, were able to get into a bidding war for the services of Wade or LeBron James unemcumbered by a salary cap, are we sure that $50 million per year would be the highest bid? Given how one star player can change an entire team's trajectory and global profile, it seems reasonable to guess that the number could go higher, perhaps much higher.  

Unfortunately for Wade, his comments, which are economically accurate, couldn't come at a worse time. The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are set to meet Friday to continue a crucial stretch of talks that will determine whether the 2011-2012 season starts on time. For many, Wade's comments, because he is a star himself, will read as whiny complaining: "I'm underpaid." 

That message, even if that's not actually what he said or meant, hurts the image of all NBA players and the union's leadership, which is tasked with holding all the disparate interests of the players together. It's also the last thing anyone wants to hear when they must face the fact that their favorite team might not take the court like normal come November. All of a sudden, the guy who sells out the entire arena thanks to his fame starts to look an awful lot like a scapegoat.

Crying poor is never a winning plan for a millionaire. Not in this economy and not with the amount of money NBA players are taking home. But Wade didn't do that here. All he said was that superstars would make significantly more money if there was no salary cap. Whether the average person or casual fan reads closely enough to realize that, though, remains to be seen.
Posted on: September 29, 2011 5:05 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 5:06 pm

How important is team chemistry in winning?

Posted by Royce Young

Chemistry isn't just something that Walter White is good at. It's a basketball buzzword, that hidden ingredient that can supposedly take a good team straight to greatness.

Build a team with talent, add a good coach and make sure they all like each other and you've got a recipe for good things. Isiah Thomas had chemistry as a major part of "The Secret," which is the secret formula to winning. The right mix of stars, role players and quality chemistry means success.

Everyone embraces that idea. Everyone agrees that it's better to like your teammates than not. Everyone knows that if you've got two guys on the floor that hate each other's guts, it's going to affect their ability to win.

But the question is, how much does it matter? And moreover, why does it matter?

Dwyane Wade admitted this week that he feels the real reason the Mavericks topped his super-loaded Heat team is because they were mixed better. He said, "One thing that Dallas beat us at – they had more chemistry than us. They had a game plan and we were still figuring ours out in our first year together."

Chemistry can kind of be a cop-out though. When you're losing and things are working right, it's easy to just say, "It's our chemistry, man." The Heat certainly lacked a feel for each other at times. Between LeBron and Wade, it was a teeter-totter on who got the ball with Chris Bosh awkwardly hanging in the balance. It was really a basketball science fair project. The Heat were putting the limits of basketball chemistry to the test and I suppose they failed since they lost, but there's always time to improve.

Wade's referencing on-court chemistry though. What about just general locker room mood? The off-court chemistry. Is it equally as important? Here's the thing: I think with one, comes the other. If you get along off the court, you're likely to get along on it. I'm not totally sure it works the other way -- see: Kobe and Shaq -- but it's always better to like the guy next to you rather than not.

What made me really start thinking about it was the supposed rift between Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins. The Thunder -- a team known worldwide for their outstanding chemistry -- traded away Jeff Green, a player Kevin Durant, Westbrook and James Harden referred to as a "brother," for Perkins.

The Thunder really we the ideal model of "The Secret," except for one flaw: Jeff Green really isn't good, at least not where the Thunder were playing him. So general manager Sam Presti risked chemistry trading away brother Jeff to bring in a big, burly, scowly center.

With the Perkins/Westbrook supposed scuffle, the fact is, chemistry is important, but really mostly when you're losing. It's easy to stick together when you're winning. But when you lose, things get tested. That's really where it affected the Celtics most. Nothing was wrong with them except their heads were shaken after Perk was dealt. And when they started slipping, they had actual evidence for why they were sulking. See? We need Perk! Maybe with Perk in the locker room, the Celtics would've been able to stay together. Maybe because he was gone, the team went into a funk and stopped trusting each other. Who knows. Chemistry certainly matters, but mostly when times are bad. What happens to the Thunder if they start next season 5-11 or something? Will fingers get pointed? Will Perk and Westbrook clash more? Will Durant have to try and put his foot down? It's all rosy until it's not.

Here's how important Jeff Green was to the Thunder: Presti actually cried during the press conference announcing the deal. If you want to know about team chemistry, the Thunder with Jeff Green were the model. Every player loved each other the same. All that Westbrook vs. Durant stuff was yet to come and honestly, it might've never surfaced if Green had stayed on the roster. He was the most veteran of their young core, the steady, calming influence.

But Presti obviously was ready and willing to risk that chemistry for the sake of bringing in a player that actually strengthened the roster. Not that Perkins was some kind of bad guy that couldn't get along with teammates. In fact, his relationship with the Celtics was almost exactly the same thing as Green in OKC.

The Celtics were shaken when Perkins was traded. Ainge dared to mess with Boston's brotherhood and in the end, paid for it. Was it because the chemistry was shaken or just because the team was kind of a mess, considering Perkins was replaced by Nenad Krstic, a broken Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal. Ask a basketball chemist and it's because Ainge tinkered with the winning locker room formula. Maybe it's a case by case thing, but clearly the Thunder were able to move past it. In the end, it was more about matchups, ability and rosters, not some imaginary force where friendships when games.

It all matters to a degree when you're trying to win, but chemistry alone doesn't win, both on and off the court. Chemistry's just one of the ingredients in the larger recipe for winning.
Posted on: September 27, 2011 12:46 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2011 5:52 pm

NBA 2K12 overall player ratings unveiled

Posted by Ben Golliver


Player ratings for the popular basketball video game, NBA 2K12, continue to leak in advance of the game's Oct. 4 release.

A few weeks back, we noted that Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James was poised to lead the league in overall ranking with a 98, topping Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant, who checked in at 94.

Unofficially, just nine current NBA players check in with ratings at or above "90".  All nine, including James and Bryant,  were All-Stars last season. The others: Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams

A number of teams from the past are also included in the game. The 1992-1993 Chicago Bulls are included, led by Michael Jordan, who is rated a 99, and Scottie Pippen, who is rated a 90. Jordan also receives a 99 on the 1997-1998 iteration of the Bulls while he scores just a 92 on the 1985-1986 team.

An expanded list of player rankings has been uploaded to YouTube by user NBA2K12stuff. More rankings have been revealed or compiled by PastaPadre.com and Examiner.com.

Here's a compiled list of ratings for some star players from those sources. Remember: this year's rookie class is not included in the game.  

LeBron James -- Miami Heat -- (98)
Dwyane Wade -- Miami Heat -- (96)
Kobe Bryant -- Los Angeles Lakers -- (94)
Dwight Howard -- Orlando Magic -- (93)
Chris Paul -- New Orleans Hornets -- (93)
Kevin Durant -- Oklahoma City Thunder -- (92)
Derrick Rose -- Chicago Bulls -- (92)
Carmelo Anthony -- New York Knicks -- (91)
Deron Williams -- New Jersey Nets -- (90)
Russell Westbrook -- Oklahoma City Thunder -- (88)
Amar'e Stoudemire -- New York Knicks -- (88)
Pau Gasol -- Los Angeles Lakers -- (86)
Rudy Gay -- Memphis Grizzlies -- (86)
Andre Iguodala -- Philadelphia 76ers --(85)
Blake Griffin -- Los Angeles Clippers -- (85)
Dirk Nowitzki -- Dallas Mavericks -- (85)
Manu Ginobili -- San Antonio Spurs -- (85)
Rajon Rondo -- Boston Celtics -- (85)
Tim Duncan -- San Antonio Spurs -- (84)
Joe Johnson -- Atlanta Hawks -- (84)
Josh Smith -- Atlanta Hawks -- (84)
Steve Nash -- Phoenix Suns -- (84)
Monta Ellis -- Golden State Warriors -- (83)
Kevin Garnett -- Boston Celtics -- (83)
Stephen Jackson -- Milwaukee Bucks -- (83)
Gerald Wallace -- Portland Trail Blazers -- (83)
LaMarcus Aldridge -- Portland Trail Blazers -- (83)
Zach Randolph -- Memphis Grizzlies -- (83)
Paul Pierce -- Boston Celtics -- (82)
Eric Gordon -- Los Angeles Clippers -- (82)
Joakim Noah -- Chicago Bulls -- (82)
John Wall -- Washington Wizards -- (82)
Kevin Love -- Minnesota Timberwolves -- (81)
Al Jefferson -- Utah Jazz -- (81)
Danny Granger -- Indiana Pacers -- (81)
Chris Bosh -- Miami Heat -- (80)
Tyreke Evans -- Sacramento Kings -- (80)
Tony Parker -- San Antonio Spurs -- (80)
Stephen Curry -- Golden State Warriors -- (80)
Andrew Bynum -- Los Angeles Lakers -- (79)

Hat tip: Welcome To Loud City 
Posted on: September 27, 2011 11:47 am
Edited on: September 27, 2011 6:36 pm

LeBron, Wade plan mega charity game

By Matt Moore

The Heat players have kept a low profile in the lockout. Chris Bosh argued with Skip Bayless. LeBron James has shown up for a few spontaneous appearances at the summer leagues (and got dunked on by a Taiwanese player). Dwyane Wade in particular has gone underground. But as usual, if there's a trend going on in the NBA, the Heat want to get in on it. The Triad will host a mega charity in south Florida next week, according to ESPN. James, Wade, and Bosh will all play, and the roster is unbelievably stacked, way more so than the other exhibitions that have been going on. From ESPN:
A number of NBA players are slated to join the Miami trio on the court, including fellow Heat teammate Mario Chalmers, the Oklahoma City Thunders Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, the New Orleans Hornets Chris Paul, the Washington Wizards John Wall, the Atlanta Hawks Jamal Crawford, the Houston Rockets Jonny Flynn, the Los Angeles Clippers Eric Bledsoe, the Dallas Mavericks Caron Butler, the Memphis Grizzlies Rudy Gay, the Boston Celtics Rajon Rondo, the Philadelphia 76ers Lou Williams, the Golden State Warriors Dorell Wright, and the Portland Trail Blazers Wesley Matthews and free agent Eddy Curry.
via Miami Heats LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh to host The South Florida All-Star Classic - ESPN

That's nine All-Stars in the game. That's pretty unbelievable. And yet, that part is probably the least interesting. Here are the cliff notes on the eyebrow-raisers from the report: 

  • The coaches for this event are actor comedian Kevin Hart and Rick Ross. Read that sentence again and let your mind explode. 
  • The event features multiple members of both Brand Jordan and Nike, pitted against each other. Wall's appearance, though, singals the event was not put together by Nike, despite the obviousness of such a move. 
  • Oh, they're playing in south Florida, huh? Where did they find an arena? Oh, at FIU. Well, that makes sense, since it's so close and.... "Oh My Gosh, that's Isiah Thomas' music!" 
  • Eddy Curry continues to slouch closer and closer to joining the Heat. He's playing alongside the Triad in exhibitions. He's hanging out with them. It's only a matter of time. Did we mentione there's a report he's lost 100 lbs.? That's a person!
The interesting thing to watch will be who streams the event. SI streamed one of the city exhibitions the other day. The more these are held, the more media partners become interested. 
Posted on: September 19, 2011 3:23 pm

Barkley to LeBron: Why so serious?

By Matt Moore

It's time for this week's "Notable/Funny Thing Charles Barkley Said" post. The man gives good soundbyte when he gets his oil changed. Anyway, he was on an ESPN show last week and the conversation turned to the Heat. First Barkley talked about his relationship with Dwyane Wade after all the criticism, then he turned his attention to LeBron James. As transcribed by ESPN's Heat Index:
Have you done real damage to your friendship, to your relationship with Dwyane Wade? Is there real damage done there by your criticism?

Dwyane has become like the Miami group, a little whiny. You know, Dwyane's a great guy. LeBron's a great guy. They're both great players. I've never criticized them as a basketball team. I did criticize them for that decision when they came around on stage, dancing like idiots, talking about how they were going to win five or six championships. And he's a little sensitive about that, but I know I'm 100 percent right to criticize that stuff.

First piece of advice you'd give LeBron James right now.

Stop taking himself so seriously. He's a great, great player. He's a really good dude. I would ask him to go and talk to Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan ... those guys who are really great like him. Every person who's a star or who's famous or rich or whatever, should always go talk to an older person who has been in that situation.
via Charles Barkley's tip to LeBron: Loosen up - Heat Index Blog - ESPN

So Wade is "whiny" and LeBron takes himself too seriously. As long as you're not fanning the flames, Chuckster. 

The LeBron point is something that's been talked about at various times.  James struggles with a sense of humor about himself, with only really the Nike ad being a point at which he mocked "The Decision." Even that had a hint of defensiveness in it ("They're my friends!"). And his self-awareness of who he is and what he's supposed to be by both popular definition and his own bragging (see: back tattoo) leads to him being unable to be in the moment. 

If we want to really get out there in terms of contextual discussion, what Barkley's saying is that James needs to embrace a more Eastern set of philosophies, including living in the moment. He needs to become unaware of what hitting a shot in the clutch does or does not mean, what it looks like, or how he should pose for the cameras. 

As far as him talking to those older legends? I'm not sure how that conversation would go, but Michael Jordan is about the last person you can turn to for advice, considering he believes no one could touch him then, or now. 

Posted on: September 11, 2011 4:08 pm

Shaq does some talking about a lot of stuff

Posted by Royce Young

You might be shocked by this, but Shaquille O'Neal has some opinons he's not afraid to share them. And with him being retired, it's basically open season for him right now. Ask, and ye shall receive... great answers.

The Times-Picayune talked to The Big Retiree at his recent statue unveiling and Shaq had some interesting thoughts on a wide number of topics.

First up, who's the real "Superman" and what he thinks about Dwight Howard's career.
His mom and my mom are good friends. I don’t have a problem. But my thing is if you want to call yourself me (Superman), then you’ve got big shoes to fill. I’m not in the Superman this, and Superman that. He won a dunk contest with a cape. If you want to be called Superman because of that, it’s fine with me. I’m Superman for other reasons. I don’t envy him; he’s a great young player.

But I’ve never seen him dog another center out. I tried to dog centers out. I went at David Robinson. If Dwight doesn’t win two or three championships, I’m going to be disappointed. He doesn’t have nobody. When I came in the league, I had to go through Alonzo Mourning, Arvydas Sabonis, Kevin Duckworth, Rik Smits. Now I can’t name any other centers besides Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum. Who else is there? That’s it.
Andrew Bogut just raised his hand. And Nene. And Tim Duncan (sort of). And Marc Gasol. And Tyson Chandler. And Darko Milicic (just kidding). I understand Shaq's point, but come on, there's a lot of big man talent in the league right now.  It's might not be as much as he faced at one point, but it's still solid. Plus, the center position is a different world now than it was. It's not about guys like Duckworth who are big and bruising. It's about guys like Nene with speed and athleticism.

But he's certainly right. Dwight Howard needs to win. He's going to be a player defined by that. The idea is that big men equal championships and Howard's head and shoulders above all other big men.

Next up: Who was the best teammate out of Kobe, Wade and LeBron?
They were all different. Coming in, I had to bring Kobe along. Coming in with D-Wade, I didn’t want to lose a friend like I lost Kobe, so I was real delicate with him. LeBron already had everything, so I never had to say anything to him.
Interesting there that Shaq said he lost Kobe as a friend. I mean, we all already kind of know that, but they've both always tried to act like they were cool with each other. Obviously not.

Shaq was asked about the difference between the league now and when he came in.
Business-wise, it’s different. When I was in high school, every team had a star and a Hall of Famer. You don’t have that now. Let’s be real: Orlando, Boston, L.A., Miami — that’s it. Maybe Memphis, the Spurs, maybe Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns and the New York Knicks. Only nine or 10 teams have a star. In my opinion, it’s kind of gone down. You’ve still got some young guys that are very exciting. They understand and grasp the power that they have.
Your new analyst, TNT! Seriously Shaq? No Oklahoma City and Kevin Durant? No Derrick Rose and the Bulls? No Clippers and Blake Griffin? No Mavericks and Dirk? Chris Paul and the Hornets? Deron Williams and the Nets? I understand overlooking Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge, but someone's a little too nostalgic for The Good Old Days. There's more talent in the league than ever. I just counted 20 teams with a star. I think you're shortselling there big time, Shaq.

On deciding to retire at 39 while seeing his skills diminish:
At 39, I wasn’t mentally on the down slope. But I used to feel really terrible after scoring eight points. This ain’t me, the Diesel scoring eight points. My mind was on winning the whole thing, and we had a chance to get the second spot (in the Eastern Conference), and we ended up getting the fourth spot. I even told (Boston General Manager) Danny Ainge not to do the Kendrick Perkins deal with Oklahoma City. I told them I might not be ready, and I’m definitely not coming back. Those guys did what they’ve got to do. I wasn’t surprised; I’ve seen it before. They say all that blah, blah, but you know it’s always going to be something different.
Interesting Shaq says that now because the Perkins trade was largely contingent on his health. Ainge seemed positive that Shaq would return and contribute but according to Shaq, he wasn't sure he'd be ready. So much so that he advised Ainge not to do the trade.

Basically, here's what to take from this Shaq interview: He might not be correct or really even remotely close, but everything's going to be interesting and have a strong opinion. So there's no doubt that he's going to fit in really well next to Charles Barkley.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com