Tag:Shaquille O'Neal
Posted on: December 1, 2011 1:47 pm
 

Shaq: Rondo is better than Chris Paul

Posted by Royce Young

There's a balance every analyst much find between saying things that get people talking but also saying things that aren't completely ridiculous. Charles Barkley is very good at this. Shaquille O'Neal, who is new at this analyst thing, is working on it. Obviously.

Exhibit A, via Sports Radio Interviews, when asked about the Rajon Rondo rumors:
“I said to myself a long time ago from sitting here watching…I saw Patrick Ewing get traded. I saw Dominique Wilkins get traded. Everyone is tradeable, you could probably get a lot for Rajon Rondo but he is the heart and soul of the team. I don’t think that would be a good idea.

If I was the general manager, I wouldn’t do it. [Hosts: You would not do it?] No. [Hosts: Even if it was for Chris Paul?] Chris Paul is not better than Rajon Rondo… Rajon Rondo is the true definition of a point guard, period. He gets everybody involved and he scores when he has to. Chris Paul scores a lot of points, but when was the last time they made it to the playoffs? Thank you very much.”
OK, let's dig in to this. First of all Shaq, Chris Paul made it to the playoffs just last season. The year before that, the Hornets didn't make it pretty much only because CP3 was hurt. And in last year's playoffs, they pushed the Lakers to six games and nearly pulled a major stunner. But I guess you missed that.

And since when is Chris Paul not in the "point guard" definition? It's like people almost inflate Rondo's point guardness because he doesn't score. It's like since he doesn't have the same well-rounded offensive ability of say a CP3 or Deron Williams and really has most his value in passing, that people assume that makes him a TRUE point guard, whatever that is. You're telling me Chris Paul isn't a true point guard because he scores too much? What planet am I on right now?

Last season, Paul averaged 15.9 points and 9.8 assists per game. Rondo averaged 10.6 points and 11.2 assists per game. For their careers, Paul is averaging 18.7 points and 9.9 assists per game. Rondo, 10.7 points, 7.6 assists. But I shouldn't even have to go there. I mean, who really would think that a) Rondo is better than Chris Paul and b) that Rondo is more of a point guard than CP3? I can't get over this.

Now Shaq played with Rondo last season so he's probably friends with him, but when you become an analyst, that stuff is out the window. You've got to tell it like it is.

Oh, hang on.
“I am just going to tell the truth. I am not going to bash anybody. I don’t like what you did in a particular game…I am gonna say it. I am not going to try to embarrass anybody, but you know just tell it like it is.”
Well nevermind. Maybe he just doesn't have any idea what he's talking about.
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:48 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 9:21 pm
 

Shaq: My death threat to Kobe was just 'Ebonics'

Posted by Ben Golliver

shaq-kobe

A few weeks back, we noted an excerpt from Shaquille O'Neal's new book, Shaq Uncut, in which the NBA legend described threatening to kill his former Los Angeles Lakers teammates, Kobe Bryant.

"If you ever say anything like what you said to Jim Gray ever again, I will kill you," O'Neal wrote that he told Bryant, after Bryant disparaged O'Neal's work ethic in a media interview.

On Thursday, O'Neal joined Stephen A. Smith on ESPN to clarify that death threat.

"That [threat] happened back then," O'Neal said. "It's well-documented. It's like an Ebonics statement. I've wanted to kill you many times, Stephen A., but we're still cool." 

O'Neal said that he now thinks of Bryant as "one of the greatest Lakers" of all time and that the two clashed because of personality differences.

"Leadership styles vary when you're dealing with tasks or relationships," O'Neal said. "I was more task-oriented. With me being the leader of the team, me being the CEO, everything had to go my way. Sometimes when you focus on the tasks, the relationship dwindles. It was all a respect thing. The task was completed. We won three out of four [titles]. We were the most dominant, most controversial duo ever created. That's all that matters."

While the book excerpt certainly makes it seem as if O'Neal took Bryant's criticism personally, he tried to play it off, saying that the media blew up the situation into more than it actually was.

"I'm a businessman, I don't take anything personal," O'Neal claimed. "A lot of the stuff was you [media] guys trying to get in. He'd say something to one guy and he'd write it. I'd say something to another guy, they'd write it. At times it was fun for me. You have to understand one thing about me, I always knew what I was doing. Everything I do has always been calculated."

Despite the death threat, the endless squabbling, the forced trade to the Miami Heat, and the lost potential for additional titles in Los Angeles, O'Neal said he left the tumultuous Lakers chapter of his life with no regrets.

"I played 19 years and if I had to do it all over, I would do the exact same thing. Even though [Kobe and I] had media friction, if you look at the clip you just showed, when I won my first championship, who jumped in my arms? At the second championship, who was on stage laughing at me and Mark Madsen? After the third championship, who hung out and partied together?"

With the past firmly in the past, O'Neal sounded confident that his legacy is secure and that the Bryant beef only adds to his legend.

"We haven't played together in 10 years and you're still talking about it," O'Neal concluded. "And 20 years from now you'll still be talking about it."
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:43 am
 

Shaq denied at club for looking shabby

By Matt Moore 

TMZ reports that Shaq showed up at a club looking like all ragged and the club wouldn't let him in. 
TMZ has learned ... Shaq rolled up to nightclub/restaurant Mars 2112 on Saturday night wearing jeans, a sweatshirt, tennis shoes and a beanie (pictured above with random fan).

But according to the club promoter, Mike Mogul, Shaq's attire wasn't up to club standards ... so security politely informed the retired NBA star that he would not be allowed inside.

Sources at the club tell us Shaq calmly replied, "Are you serious?" ... then shrugged his shoulders and walked down the street to another place that welcomed The Diesel with open arms.
via Shaquille O'Neal REJECTED from Nightclub -- You're Dressed Like a Schlub!!! | TMZ.com.

My question is who had the fortitude to tell Shaquille freaking O'Neal he couldn't come in? How big was this bouncer? Good news is that O'Neal didn't pull the "Do you know who I am?" because that would just be stupid in his case. Not like you can mistake Shaq for someone else. Also... going out in public at night in jeans, a sweatshirt, tennis shoes, and a beanie... so Shaq's a blogger. That's what you're telling me.

So many questions. Did O'Neal not have better clothes with him? Did he just not feel like it? Is this some sort of new style no one knows about? Is it like Derelicte from Zoolander? How did the bouncers stop him, exactly? Did they set up some sort of barrier using sandbags when they saw him coming? I've met some insanely tough bouncers before, but, I mean, it's Shaq. I'm surprised they didn't have to call in artillery.

Good thing no one called Kobe when this happened. He would have rushed across the country just to go into the nightclub wearing boxers and a flamingo pink smoking jacket just to prove he could one-up Shaq.

OK, I think I'm done.  
Posted on: November 16, 2011 11:40 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 12:00 am
 

Shaq: Phil Jackson 'may come back' to coach again

Posted by Ben Golliverphil-shaq

One recently retired NBA legend thinks another recently retired NBA legend might not actually be done for good.

The New York Daily News reports that Shaquille O'Neal -- center on three title-winning Los Angeles Lakers teams coached by Phil Jackson -- thinks the Zen Master might have at least one more round of meditations left in him.

Jackson, of course, is currently retired but it is already being speculated that the Hall of Fame coach will resurface with the Knicks next season. Current Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni is in the final year of his contract with the club.

"He may come back," O'Neal said of Jackson. "Phil says he's never coming back but he changed my NBA career. His focus and the way he did things and the way he taught us how to do things. He did it on a cool, calm respectable level. Then I went to Miami and we had problems with all the (yelling). I'm like 'we just won three out of four with this guy (Jackson) so why would I do it this way?’ That's why we had problems."

The timing of Jackson's retirement this summer was no accident. He made it clear throughout last season that he had no stomach for the NBA's labor saga, and he struggled to keep his opinions to himself when it comes to hot-button issues like contraction and revenue sharing. That he would retire to the Montana wilderness just as commissioner David Stern and National Basketball Players Association Billy Hunter were sharpening their pencils and elbows in preparation for legal war wasn't much of a surprise. That his Lakers team embarrassed itself with dirty play during the 2011 playoffs only removed the possibility of any second-guessing, especially with the core group appearing to have crested after back-to-back titles.

We know this for sure: Jackson is only coming back to coach a serious title contender with sufficient starpower already in place. He's old enough, at 66, and decorated enough, with 11 rings as a coach, that he need not settle for anything short of a perfectly laid table.

Because there's nothing else to do in this lockout wasteland, surveying the likely future perennial title contenders that would fit Phil's bill leaves only a short list: the Lakers, the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New York Knicks.

The Lakers are unlikely to do an about face after committing to new coach Mike Brown. It's a long way from Hollywood to the Oklahoma dust bowl, so the Thunder can be eliminated immediately. The Bulls are currently in a honeymoon period with coach Tom Thibodeau, leaving the Heat and the Knicks as the two most obvious targets. The Heat like Erik Spoelstra, though, and South Beach is Pat Riley's domain. It's difficult to imagine there's room for the egos of both Riley and Jackson in the same city at the same time.

By process of elimination that leaves the Knicks, newly empowered with All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, but sporting a head coach in Mike D'Antoni who only cares about offense and has been on a hot -- or at least warm -- seat for the last year or two. For now, New York's roster isn't sufficiently talented to make Jackson, himself a title-winning Knicks player, rush back to the NBA. But throw in Chris Paul and a few quality role players, and an empire state of mind for Jackson starts to seem more plausible.

That's a lot of ifs, though, especially during a nuclear winter. The smart money is on Jackson, who has battled hip problems for years, staying retired for good. Indeed, if you had to put money on who would make a comeback first, O'Neal or Jackson, the answer would be Shaq in a runaway. As his incessant book promotion recentlly illustrates, O'Neal is having some trouble letting go of the spotlight.
Posted on: November 15, 2011 1:22 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 5:30 am
 

Shaquille O'Neal disses Chris Bosh in new book

Posted by Ben Gollivershaq-bosh

We can't count on the NBA these days, but it's good to know that basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal will keep right on dissing Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, lockout or no lockout.

The Palm Beach Post reports that O'Neal takes a swipe at Bosh in his new autobiography, Shaq Uncut, which is set for release on Wednesday.
“Some guys come into the league without a ton of props, so there’s not a whole lot of pressure on them. Then they sign a big deal and all of a sudden they’re thrown into the spotlight. Chris Bosh is like that. He’s getting all this attention, so he starts believing he’s really good. C’mon now. We know better. He’s a player who can put up some numbers, but he’s not an elite player. He was in Toronto eight years and they were never a factor, never a playoff team. Don’t get with those other two guys and start pounding your chest. I ain’t buying it, and I’m not the only one.”
Bosh's Raptors twice made the playoffs but did not advance out of the first round.

All things considered, this is a disappointingly tame criticism from O'Neal, at least by his own standards.

In 2009, the Arizona Republic reported that O'Neal had much harsher words for Bosh after a dispute over his free throw shooting technique.

After Shaquille O'Neal scored 45 against Toronto on Friday, Raptors star Chris Bosh said O'Neal had benefited from officials ignoring his three-second lane violations.

"I heard what Chris Bosh said, and that's strong words coming from the RuPaul of big men," O'Neal said. "I'm going to do the same thing (in their next meeting) I did before - make him quit. Make 'em quit and complain. It's what I do."
RuPaul is a well-known drag queen.

Then, back in July, O'Neal was quick to slight Bosh in his analysis of the 2011-2012 championship contenders.
"The Miami Heat, they've got a lot of great players, the 'Big 2.' They will be back," O'Neal said from Louisiana during the broadcast, when discussing the NBA Finals and how Dallas was able to beat Miami for the title. "LeBron James is taking a lot of criticism, but I know LeBron very well. He hears everything that everyone is saying, so I think he's going to come back and have an MVP year this year." 

"Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, you know, they're great players, they're probably the greatest backcourt ever assembled," O'Neal said. "And you know, they're going to get back. They're going to get back. They play well, they went through a lot, they put a lot of pressure on themselves. That's how they like it. And they will be back."
And that's essentially the theme he has going in his book. James and Wade are great; Bosh is an afterthought. It's not a particularly original assessment -- millions of casual fans reached the same conclusion last year -- but it is interesting to hear it from O'Neal's perspective.

At various points of his career, O'Neal was a talented rookie looking up to established Hall of Fame centers, the best player in the league leading a title contender, a second fiddle on a title contender, and a broken down big man who couldn't stay healthy long enough to get on the floor. That's a lot of different roles and they combine to shape a uniquely qualified perspective. The truly elite players in the game have each other's respect, even if it's begrudging. O'Neal, for example, threatened to kill Kobe Bryant when the two were Los Angeles Lakers teammates, but the Palm Beach Bost notes that O'Neal compliments Bryant in his book: "Kobe is a scientific dawg. He works out every day, practices every day. Most of the other stars are just dawgs, not scientific dawgs." 

I guess this all comes down to that old adage about respect being taken and not given. Whether because of his personality quirks or the nature of his face-up game, it's clear Bosh has not compelled respect from O'Neal. The interesting question to watch going forward: Will O'Neal's tune change if Bosh contributes to a Heat title?

Hat tip: ProBasketballTalk
Posted on: November 12, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 9:58 pm
 

Fight with Pat Riley led Miami Heat to trade Shaq

Posted by Ben Golliverpat-riley-shaquille-oneal

Shaquille O'Neal will be remembered as one of the NBA's greatest players, but his ugly exits from city after city caused plenty of controversy and wound up staining his legacy and lowering his career ceiling.

The scorched earth farewell from Orlando and the battle of egos with Kobe Bryant that led to his departure from Los Angeles are well-known. But there was also the move from a title-winning Miami Heat squad to the Phoenix Suns, a blow-up that might not have attracted as much attention because O'Neal was already past his prime, but nevertheless had plenty of eye-popping drama.

In an ESPN.com excerpt from his forthcoming autobiography, Shaq: Uncut, O'Neal lays out the story behind why he left South Beach for the Southwest. O'Neal admits that he threw a teammate to the ground while exchanging profanites with legendary coach Pat Riley, all while approaching Riley, who was 62 at the time, as if he was going to punch him.

The encounter, O'Neal writes, began when Riley attempted to throw guard Jason Williams out of practice only for O'Neal to step in and tell him to stay.
I tell Pat we're a team and we need to stick together, not throw guys out of the gym. Pat is screaming at me and says if I don't like it, then I should get the hell out of practice, too.

That's when I said, "Why don't you make me?"

I start taking a couple of steps towards Pat. Udonis Haslem steps in and I shove him out of the way. Then [Alonzo Mourning] tries to grab me. I threw him aside like he was a rag doll.

Now it's me and Riley face-to-face, jaw to jaw. I'm poking him in the chest and he keeps slapping my finger away and it's getting nasty. Noisy, too. He's yelling "F--- you!" and I'm yelling back, "No, f--- you!"

Zo is trying to calm us both down and he has this kind of singsong panic in his voice. He keeps saying, "Big fella, no big fella, big fella!" I finally turn around and tell him, "Don't worry. I'm not going to hit the man. Do you think I'm crazy?"

Everybody was kind of backing away from me because I had that murderous "Shaq is about to go off" look on my face. They knew better than to mess with me at that point.

So, if you're keeping score at home, that's teammate-on-teammate violence plus threatened elderly violence.

Shortly thereafter, O'Neal writes, Riley contacted his agent and said that a trade was in the works. O'Neal played his first game with the Suns in February 2008. The Heat won just 15 games that season and took a step towards rebuilding; O'Neal enjoyed a mini-resurgence in the desert. One of those mutually-beneficial trades, I guess.

The biggest lesson here is that it was Riley's way or the highway in South Beach. Having won and lost with the biggest egos of multiple generations of NBA players, it's no wonder that he took the plunge on acquiring LeBron James without hesitation. Dealing with O'Neal nose-to-nose with your credibility challenged is perfect training for the many personality challenges that James brought to the table last season.

If Riley could motivate a title out of O'Neal, who was apparently capable of really flipping out when the going got tough, it's difficult to bet against him coaxing one out of James, too. Of course, it's Erik Spoelstra, and not Riley, who must physically stand, unflinching, when questioned and challenged on the practice court these days. 

RELATED: In new book, Shaquille O'Neal writes that he was physically abused by his father 
Posted on: November 10, 2011 3:23 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Writer: Shaq was physically abused by his father

Posted by Ben Golliver

shaq-dad

Excerpts of Shaquille O'Neal's new book -- Shaq Uncut -- have trickled out over the past few weeks in advance of its Nov. 15 release, and the general theme has been O'Neal blasting off on someone, whether that's Kobe Bryant (here), LeBron James (here) or Glen Davis (here).

But Jackie MacMullan, the long-time NBA writer who authored the book with O'Neal, says that O'Neal the aggressor has gotten far more play than O'Neal the victim, a role that figures prominently in his autobiography.

During an interview on Jason Whitlock's FoxSports.com podcast, MacMullan described how Phillip Harrison, Shaquille O'Neal's father, a staff sergeant in the United States Army, repeatedly physically abused the NBA legend during his childhood.

"It gets lost in the shuffle because people want to talk about Kobe, Pat Riley, and LeBron and all these other famous people," MacMullan said, "but another fascinating part of this book is his father. 'Sarge,' Phillip Harrison, who, frankly, abused him all the way through his life. Physically abused him, beat the living daylights out of him at every turn."

MacMullan noted that this wasn't simply corporal punishment or spanking, but serious physical abuse.

"We're not talking about spanking," she said. "We're talking about a belt. Beating him badly. Something that disturbed his mother greatly. Of course, Shaq's mom and his dad aren't together any more. I think that's in part why. Sarge was a military guy, that's how his father raised him, and that's how he was going to raise his son. I don't think he thinks there's anything wrong with it still. Shaq understands it, his dad was 'trying to help' him. He believed his dad had the best intentions, so Shaq gives him a pass on it. As a reader, you can't help but go, 'Wow, this is tough, this is over the top.'"

In particular, she retold a story involving O'Neal being punched in the face multiple times by Harrison.

"His father came home from work one night, Shaq is sitting there, he punches Shaq in the face," MacMllan recounted. "Shaq says, 'Well, what's that for?' [Harrison] said, 'We're going to see this guy play basketball. We're going to see him play tonight. He plays in the NBA. You're messing around, you're goofing around, you're not serious about your game. This guy makes $15 million and he can't play at all. And we're going to go see him.' Punches him again and takes him to go see Jon Koncak play basketball and says, 'See, if you applied yourself, you could be in the NBA making $15 million.' You can say that's a good story, it makes my skin go pale, and I'm pretty pale to begin with."

Despite the abuse, MacMullan was careful to note, multiple times, that O'Neal does not bear any ill will towards his father.

"Shaq said, 'He never hit me without cause, if it weren't for him I'd be in prison right now because I was a wise guy, and I did the wrong things, and I was caught up with the wrong kids.'"

Even when directly confronted with the idea that his father had abused him, O'Neal would not express negative thoughts or feelings towards his father.   

"I said to him, 'This is abusive, what your dad did to you,'" MacMullan said. "And Shaq said, 'I understand why he did it. I love him. I would never do it to my own kids.' "

Nevertheless, she clearly came away from this portion of O'Neal's story with serious concerns.

"Shaq loves his father and compliments his father all through this book," MacMullan said. "But all I can tell you, is the stories after stories after stories, I think Shaq can see his dad one way, he's so close to him, it's probably the only way he can see it. I think you and I would see it differently."
Posted on: November 3, 2011 10:48 am
 

Shaq excerpt of the day: Big Baby violence

By Matt Moore

Shaq was going to kill Kobe. Shaq says LeBron got his way too much in Cleveland. Shaq's new book, "Shaq Uncut" is turning out to be confirmation of what most people have thought for years. And each day there's a new set of wholly unsurprising yet "Jeez, you don't have to actually say it" excerpts that hit the web. 

Today's Shaq du jour?  Last season with the Celtics, Shaq was open. He was ready. He would destroy. And Glen Davis wouldn't give him the ball. O'Neal says his response was less than benevolent. From the Boston Globe

 
“Big Baby” Davis kept looking me off and taking it himself. Doc is shouting at him to go inside, but he won’t. So Doc calls timeout and draws up a play for me. I go out there, and I back Andrew Bynum way under the rim. I’m loose, I’m ready. I’ve got Bynum under the basket and again, Baby won’t give me the ball. So I go up to him and say, “If you ever miss me again I’m going to punch you in the face.” I was hot.

Two nights later we’re playing in Sacramento and here we go again. I take three shots the entire game and again I’ve got my man isolated underneath the basket, and Baby ignores me and takes a jump shot. So the next time we’re in the huddle I let Baby have it.

I tell him, “Pass the [expletive] ball inside.” He comes back at me a little bit and now I’m really heated. All hell is breaking loose. We’re going back and forth. Doc is standing there and he’s not saying a word. The message is pretty clear: Work this out yourselves. I tell Baby, “You’re a selfish player. Everyone on this team knows it.” Hey, all the fans knew it. He takes shots when he shouldn’t.
via Shaq spills some Celtics secrets in new book -Celtics blog - Boston Globe basketball news.

Davis was never really known for his mid-range jumper until the 2009 playoffs, when he went to it with great success against the Magic. But since then, it's declined. Davis shot 41 percent from 16-23 feet in 2009, but just 33 percent in 2010 and 35 percent in 2011. Too often Davis tends to think that's a shot he should focus on, when his strengths are at the rim cleaning up the offensive glass.

O'Neal's defense fell apart in his later years, but surprisingly, his offense remained effective. But if Davis was aware as Shaq claims everyone on the Celtics should have been that he couldn't be relied on, how could he be expected to pass to him? How do you depend on someone you know you can't depend on?

This story will not help Davis in free agency which he's expected to hit once the offseason begins. If it begins.  

(HT: SLAM
 
 
 
 
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