Posted on: August 12, 2011 4:28 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2011 4:30 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
The ongoing NBA lockout has Shaquille O'Neal stuck in an awkward purgatory between "ruining the Boston Celtics' season" and "getting paid to make fun of Kenny Smith on a full-time basis".
How is O'Neal spending his days now that he's retired from the NBA as a player but not yet able to offer television commentary? By dabbling in Mixed Martial Arts, of course.
O'Neal joined a panel of fringe characters who operate on the margins of society on HDNet's Inside MMA program to discuss who he would like to take on in an MMA fight. Who made up O'Neal's hit list? A bunch of the usual suspect -- retired power forwards -- and one surprise: O'Neal's most recent boss, the President of the Boston Celtics.
"I don't know about this new NBA," O'Neal said. "I'm going to answer that with some old school players. Charles Oakley, definitely. [Charles] Barkley, [Karl] Malone, Xavier McDaniel and I'm going to throw a white guy in there. Who should I pick for a white guy? Not Larry Bird. I'm going to go with Danny Ainge. Because Danny Ainge one time bit Tree Rollins' finger almost off."
There was one current player who O'Neal could see entering the ring.
"Ron Artest, you know you could probably put in there," O'Neal said. "But other than that, I'm not sure."
Here's the video of O'Neal's appearance courtesy of YouTube user HDNetFights.
Hat tip: Los Angeles Times
Posted on: August 10, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 12:01 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Remember that alleged Shaquille O'Neal kidnapping/sex tape/assault/robbery thing from a few months back? Not going to say I told you so, but there was pretty much no doubt that there wasn't much legitimacy to the whole thing.
Which is why a judge wasn't having it. According to the New York Daily News, the case is being thrown out.
So the case was tossed because the key witness Ross wasn't trusted. Which is funny, because Ross has another lawsuit against Shaq, this one alleging O'Neal order "multiple" murders. I wonder if that one will get tossed too.
Good to hear that at least one crazy lawsuit is off the docket for Shaq. We don't want anything to get in the way of what's sure to be a stellar season for him on Inside the NBA with Kenny and Charles.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:45 pm
Shaquille O'Neal makes fun of Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Shaquille O'Neal is getting his television commentary career off to a fast start, wasting no time hopping aboard the Chris Bosh Punchline bandwagon.
The Associated Press reports that O'Neal took a swipe at the oft-lambasted Heat forward during a televised special announcing the release of the 2011-2012 NBA schedule.
"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."Not particularly original work by O'Neal, but it's good to see that he won't be in the tank for his former team. Sure, he might be pandering to public sentiment but it's definitely better than hearing him defend LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and company.
Best case scenario: O'Neal and fellow commentator Charles Barkley get into a mano-a-mano competition to see who can give the Heat a harder time. Both have shown the ability to be a bit merciless, and certainly that will appeal to the wide swath of NBA fans who enjoy watching the Heat struggle.
O'Neal's Boston Celtics were eliminated by the Heat in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. O'Neal was limited by injuries and was only able to play 12 minutes total in the series, scoring two points and grabbing zero rebounds. The injuries and his age led him to decide to retire in June.
Posted on: July 15, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 6:50 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Fresh off a story claiming that Shaquille O'Neal is caught up in some strange kidnapping/sex tape thing, here comes another doozy from TMZ. The website has obtained a lawsuit filed against Shaq on Friday that -- get ready for this -- alleges that the big man "requested and directed" multiple murders on a gang members, a record producer and a woman he got pregnant.
And even put out an order for someone to break an NBA players' shooting arm. You immediately thought about Carlos Boozer and his mysterious gym bag, didn't you?
This is super delicate, obviously, so I'm just going to let TMZ tell you the weird details.
Shaq's former pal Robert Ross -- an ex-gang member -- is suing O'Neal for allegedly masterminding a plot to have him kidnapped by other gang members back in 2008. In the documents, filed today in L.A. County Superior Court, Ross claims O'Neal organized and funded a series of murders and brutal attacks on people who did him wrong.Shaq's representation is naturally refuting the suit as Michael J. Kump, Shaq's lawyer, told TMZ, "The outlandish claims by Robert Ross in his civil complaint are pure fiction. Shaquille O'Neal befriended Mr. Ross in an attempt to help turn his life around. Sadly, Mr. Ross abused that friendship again and again. Shaquille's commitment to law enforcement is well-known and documented. He will not dignify these defamanatory allegations with a response."
It definitely sounds like a pathetic attempt at a cash grab on Shaq. Because the whole story certainly doesn't lean on the side of believability. I'm sure "friends" have tried this same type of manuever a bunch against famous athletes and celebs.
But there you have it. Some guy filed a civil suit alleging Shaq is a murderer. And in in a metaphorical sense as in "he totally murdered Chris Dudley on this play." Definitely didn't see this one coming.
Posted on: July 14, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 6:49 am
Shaquille O'Neal guarantees that the Miami Heat will return to the NBA Finals and says the harsh treatment of LeBron James was fair. Posted by Ben Golliver.
The last time the Miami Heat won a title, Shaquille O'Neal was playing alongside Dwyane Wade. The next time the Heat compete for a ring? O'Neal will be weighing in from the studio.
And one of O'Neal's first acts after officially signing up to join the TNT crew, the Sun-Sentinel reports, was to guarantee that the Heat will make a return trip to the NBA Finals after losing the 2011 title to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.
“They just came up against a team and it was their turn,” he said. “Dirk played unbelievable. They played together. I just think it was their turn.Lest you think O'Neal is going to be a homer for his old club, BusinessInsider.com points outthat he also came to the defense of those who criticized LeBron James this season, painting all the hatred as a rite of passage for top-level stars and saying the criticism James absorbed was understandable.
"I would not characterize it as unfair because, like I said, it happened to everyone," he said. "It happened to [Michael] Jordan when he went to Atlantic City to get away from the game. It happened to Barkley. It happened to [Dennis] Rodman. It happened to Magic [Johnson]. It happens to everybody. If it just started this year I would call it unfair, but I've been in the game for 20 years and I've seen similar stories."O'Neal will be teaming with former players Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley in his new role. All three have silly sides to their personalities, which could get overwhelming at times. But "Serious Shaq" is not someone we are exposed to all that often, and his experience as a top-flight player, entertainer and celebrity will be invaluable for the casual fan.
While Barkley has always kept it completely real, he never won a title and more time has passed since he left the league. In Shaq, the NBA viewer will have a thoroughly modern mega-star who has lived through everything -- the good, bad and ugly -- that the 21st century athlete/global icons deal with on a daily basis. His treatment of the Heat's James and Dwyane Wade will be particularly interesting to follow because he will speak from a position of authority and experience that is totally unique in the basketball world. Part Godfather, part older brother, part clown, part mogul, part movie star.
Just as Shaq was born to dominate on the basketball court, he was born to commentate off of it.
Posted on: July 10, 2011 1:23 am
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:19 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Pretty much the second Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement, speculation started as to what his next career venture would be. Of course there's the policeman route, the movie star route, the reality TV star route, the music route or the natural fit, the broadcasting route.
According to Darren Rovell of CNBC, Shaq's going with the latter, for now. Rovell tweeted, "Sources have confirmed that Shaq has agreed in principle to join Turner."
It really was just a question of where Shaq would go. With his big personality, popularity and knack for being great on camera, it really was going to come down to ESPN or Turner. And with Shaq choosing Turner, that just means the best is only getting better. With Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Chris Webber -- who was terrific in his first year as an analyst -- Turner has the market cornered on excellent NBA studio commentary.
Now of course there is a chance that Shaq might not be as wonderful as we're anticipating. TNT's "Inside the NBA" is great for a lot of reasons, but mainly because Barkley is so candid and works well with Kenny and Ernie, being funny but also providing solid basketball analysis. The challenge for Shaq will be to pull off what Barkley does so well in being funny and silly while also being able to get down to talking some serious basketball. I'm not entirely sure Shaq is capable of that.
There's always a fine balance between being yourself and trying too hard to be great on TV. Shaq's funny and smart enough on his own not to have to try hard to be great in a studio setting, so unless he really presses, he should be terrific.
I'm just assuming that Shaq will be part of "Inside the NBA" while he may actually do his own thing. He's certainly capable of it. Shaq has such a big personality that he's must-see-TV all by himself almost. But if he can harness that personality and charm and add in some good basketball talk, "Inside the NBA" will only be better.
Now all that has to happen is there needs to be a season for them to talk about.
Posted on: July 8, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 10:19 pm
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming has retired. Here's a roundtable discussion about what it means. Posted by EOB staff.
Matt Moore: Is Yao Ming a Hall of Famer?
I'm leaning towards no. He only had two 20-10 seasons where he played over 60 games. There's the Chinese cultural impact and the fact that he was the best center in the league from 2006-2009. But other than that, I'm having a hard time justifying his entry to the Hall.
Ben Golliver: Definitely not based on his NBA record. Didn't play enough games, win enough playoff series, take home enough individual hardware or influence the game's development. But he will get in like Arvydas Sabonis did on the international side for sure. And more than deservedly so. He was a pivotal factor in both the game's spreading influence into China and China's growing interest in the game.
Royce Young: I'm with Ben. There's no denying the impact he made and how important of a player he was to expanding the NBA's global brand, but in terms of what he did on the floor, I don't think so. His 2006-07 season was outstanding, but a lot of players have had really nice isolated seasons here and there.
No doubt he'd be one if injuries hadn't sidelined him, but that's part of it and the reality is, he just didn't play enough.
But in terms of an international Hall of Famer, absolutely. In terms of an NBA one, he simply didn't play enough. I don't think there's a special exception just because someone had a cultural impact (I mean, he's not exactly Jackie Robinson here). It's about what you did and didn't do on the court.
Matt Moore: Let's say he'd stayed healthy. What would his career ceiling have been?
Ben Golliver: Exactly halfway between Mark Eaton and Shaquille O'Neal.
Royce Young: He played in eight seasons and at his size, I don't really think he would've played more than one or two more anyway. He just would've had really nice numbers. He finished with what, 19-9 for his career? I bet he would've been like 22-10 and been, along with Shaq, one of the most dominant players in the league for a decade. Surefire Hall of Famer if he had stayed healthy.
Matt Moore: If Yao had stayed healthy, would we consider Dwight Howard's career differently? I can see making the argument for Yao being better than Dwight all the way until 2009, which slightly impacts Dwight's overall impressiveness.
Ben Golliver: I think Yao, unfortunately, will always be an overlooked oddity when we talk about the history of big men. Because of his outsider status and unprecedented size/skill set, Yao had Dirk Nowitzki's predicament of needing to win a title to justify (and explain) himself, only taken to a whole new level.
I just don't think he ever would inch his way into the American lineage without a ring or an MVP award (or two). It's just way too easy for history to trace from Abdul-Jabbar to Olajuwon (who gets a pass because he played for a high-profile college here in the States and went on to win rings) to Robinson to O'Neal to Howard. I'm not saying that's fair or how it should be, but I think that's his lot in life even if he had been healthier and 10%+ more productive.
Royce Young: There is an almost irrational thing about if a big man is truly good, he'll lead you to a title. But that's obviously not true. Patrick Ewing taught us that.
I really think if Yao had been fully healthy for 10 straight seasons, he'd have an MVP. Maybe not a title, but he'd have been one of the five scariest matchups night-to-night in the league.
Ben Golliver: Ewing is a great example because I just totally left him out of the lineage (because he didn't win a title when multiple people playing concurrently did?). He's the extraneous one in the Olajuwon/Robinson/Ewing trio, right? And he even had the biggest market team, plenty of deep playoff exposure and a high-profile American college to his advantage, which Yao didn't. Once a dominant center leads a team to a title post-Shaq, I think Yao is even more doomed.
If we're looking to spin a resolution somewhat positively, I think it's best to remember Yao as one of a kind than as one in a line.
Posted on: June 27, 2011 11:25 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 11:40 am
Posted by Royce Young
After the NBA Finals wrapped up, everyone seemed to have an opinion not just on LeBron, but for LeBron. He should do this, do that, pass here, score there. LeBron is the most talented player in the world and he didn't play as well as we all expected, so all of the chatter is understandable.
One person, though, that's not going to pile on and add his two cents? Newly retired Shaquille O'Neal. Not even if LeBron asked for it. Via the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
"No," said Shaq, during a red, white and green carpet interview before his retirement party at the Palms on Saturday.Shaq is entirely correct. Experience often is the very best thing that LeBron can learn from. And that Jordan quote is one that's been slung around for a while. Jordan didn't win his first title until he was 28. LeBron is 26. (Though it took Jordan seven seasons to win it and LeBron just completed his eighth.)
The two were teammates in Cleveland for a season and are pretty close. I'm sure Shaq's communicated with LeBron, he's just not doing it publicly, because really, why should he when he can just call or text LeBron?
I do appreciate that Shaq isn't adding to the million-voice choir that's got a word for LeBron. Even if he ended up kind of giving some with his MJ quote, the fact that Shaq recognizes he doesn't need to contribute is nice. It's gotten a bit nauseating having every current, former and even future NBA player tossing out a thought or two on what LeBron should've done.
Know what LeBron should've done? Played a little better so his team could've won. End of story. He didn't. And now, like Shaq says, he's got a bunch of experience to use and think about for next season. LeBron has a good number of years left and though he's 0-for-2 in The Finals, that doesn't mean it's all over. Still plenty of time to write a legacy.
Just ask Dirk.