When we told you about a wild kidnapping and beating case in Los Angeles that involved gang members, orders from Shaquille O’Neal, and an alleged sex tape involving the former NBA center, we had doubts. Shaq denied everything and was never charged. We took that story with enough salt to make a nice prosciutto.
The judge in the case wasn’t buying it either.
The judge threw out the charges against the alleged gang members on Tuesday saying the key witness — the man allegedly kidnapped — was not to be trusted, reports the New York Daily News.
“We did not have the necessary confidence in the victim Robert Ross to proceed,” District Attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison told the Daily News.
A law enforcement source said one major red flag was an electronic message Ross allegedly sent to O’Neal’s ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal during the case that warned her it was time to “pay up.”
The victim claims to have had an affair with Shaunie. I don’t know, I don’t care if it’s true.
This, however, is not the last of the wild lawsuits Shaq needs to fend off.
Whenever we get a season Shaq will be on the TNT studio set as an analyst and foil for Charles Barkley.
Shaquille O’Neal has run in some questionable circles.
Not that I believe any of the lawsuit allegations made against him this summer — and there have been some so ridiculous we refused to run or link to them here — but the fact he keeps ending up in them says something about the people around him.
We’ll briefly touch on the latest one, a lawsuit filed by Shawn Darling, who was a former employee of Shaq. An employee who sided with Shaq’s wife in their divorce and is now suing him. So, not the best employee ever. Darling’s lawsuit makes some wild allegations against the soon to be NBA analyst. We bring you these notes from the Sun Sentinel.
Well-known as a police buff, O’Neal called on his law enforcement pals to “frame [Darling] for possession of child pornography, have his house stormed by police, have him arrested for it, and have his computers confiscated while he is hauled off to jail as an accused child pornographer,” the complaint says.
“O’Neal and his henchmen would stop [at] nothing to get what O’Neal needed,” the lawsuit alleges.
The suit names active police officers as part of the conspiracy. The suit goes on to suggest that Shaq had a GPS tracking device put on his ex-wife’s car to make sure she was not talking to the woman he was having an affair with.
I have no idea how much if any of this is true. I don’t want to believe them. But as a beloved player Shaq was able to skate past these kind of allegations, it may not be that way as an analyst at TNT. Just a warning Shaq. You can ask Charles Barkley all about it.
Retired or not, Shaquille O’Neal is one of the biggest personalities and stars the NBA has.
And Shaq gives good television. I’ much rather watch him than David Stern talking lawsuits. Shaq tells good stories, like trying to just drop in at the White House unannounced and saying he wants to see President Obama (even if your name is Clinton you don’t get to just drop in on the President, sorry Shaq). Then he tries to drive a tiny plastic car. It’s good stuff.
Hat tip to KD and Ball Don’t Lie.
Shaquille O’Neal has been through the wars. He’s won a lot of rings, he’s lost in finals, he’s been loved and scorned by the media. Oh, and he had his own reality show. Think what you want of him, he understands a lot of what it takes to get things done in the NBA.
In Shaq’s press conference talking about joining the TNT studio show — which is now appointment viewing for NBA fans for the entertainment factor alone — he talked about what LeBron and the Heat went through this season, and how he relates to it as a veteran.
This first quote is from a Sports Illustrated podcast, talking about the criticism LeBron faced.
“I would not characterize it as unfair because like I said, it happened to everyone. 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.”
Ira Winderman from the Sun Sentinel has Shaq’s quotes about the Heat in general.
“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.
“Michael Jordan told me a long time ago that before you succeed you must first learn to fail. This was the Big Three’s first time together and they made it very far and they are going to be together for a long time. I’m guaranteeing they will get back.”
Feel free to agree or disagree with Shaq — like Barkley on TNT it doesn’t matter. He’s not there for you to agree with, he’s there to do and say things that get you to tune in to the broadcast. Shaq — as he showed Thursday — will do that.
Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley at the same desk every Thursday night.
First, that is appointment television. Second, TNT may want to increase its craft services budget (the people who cater food to the set).
TNT made it official Thursday, announcing that Shaquille O’Neal will join the “Inside the NBA” show before and after games on that network (mostly Thursday nights plus some other games and playoffs). Shaq will be on set with Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson and Kenny “the jet” Smith.
Already this is one of the most entertaining — and at moments insightful — television basketball shows out there. Adding another big personality will just improve the product. Frankly, more Shaq and less Magic Johnson is good for television.
The guy I would hate to see get squeezed in all this is Chris Webber — he is the best guy that TNT and NBA TV have working on air. (TNT produces the NBA TV studio shows.) Reports are he will still call games but not be in studio for TNT. Which is a shame. Webber is funny, insightful and I still miss him and Kevin McHale doing NBA TV together, they were fantastic. Just don’t kick the man to the curb.