Tag: Shaquille O’Neal

Boston Celtics v Orlando Magic

Magic trade Brandon Bass for Glen Davis, but what exactly do they hope to gain?


Amid a flurry of activity across the league, the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic quietly agreed to swap two somewhat frustrating bigs. Brandon Bass, the athletic power forward who gave Stan Van Gundy more than a few gray hairs during his stint with the Magic, is Boston-bound in exchange for a signed-and-traded Glen Davis.

It makes a fair bit of sense for the Celtics, who were at risk of overpaying Davis in order to preserve their frontcourt depth. Boston lost Shaquille O’Neal to retirement and Nenad Krstic to a binding contract in Russia while the NBA was still locked out, and retaining Davis seemed like one of the franchise’s only ways to maintain consistency. Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal are still in the fold, but with both players so often injured and Jeff Green the next best (if “best” is the right word) option to play big, Davis seemed like an unfortunate lock. Doc Rivers and the Celtics hadn’t exactly been thrilled with Davis’ play and conditioning during his stint in Boston, but at times he had been a pivotal component of the Celtics’ oppressive defense.

With this deal, the Celtics have traded Davis for a more athletic, better-shooting equivalent on a more palatable contract. Bass isn’t quite as good defensively, but Boston nonetheless acquired a better player for less money, and found a better fit for their offense, to boot. Well played, Danny Ainge.

But it’s hard to see exactly what the Magic stand to gain with Davis’ four-year, $26 million contract. When at the absolute peak of his game, Davis is an effective defender with decent interior skills and a solid mid-range jumper. But Davis didn’t reach that point very often last season, as the focus-related errors stacked up at an alarming rate. On the hardwood and off, Davis presented problems for the Celtics. He wasn’t the player they needed him to be, nor the one he could be. Investing four years in a player with that kind of history is an iffy decision, especially at the cost of a comparable player on a more reasonable deal.

I can understand why, in a vacuum, the Magic would want a player like Davis (or like Bass, for that matter) to help fill out their rotation. But why commit two extra years and and an additional $18 million in a deal that doesn’t actually make the team better? Where, exactly, is the selling point that makes Davis’ game so much more appealing than Bass’? He isn’t the kind of piece that could entice Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando, nor is he a credible building block for a post-Howard rebuild. Bass himself is far from perfect, but he boasts a more productive and efficient overall game.

This isn’t one of those quirky trades with mutually beneficial fit. It’s trading for trading’s sake, and when the Magic were desperate to shake things up a bit, the Celtics capitalized.

Video: Shaq sings his intro into TNT, so get ready

Shaquille O'Neal

Usually I am a fan of the “don’t mess with a good thing” school of thought. But sometimes you take something good like waffles, combine it with fried chicken and you get something better.

Or, if you take Charles Barkley and the TNT crew and mix in Shaquille O’Neal, maybe you improve the best game-night NBA show out there.

We’ll see how it goes starting on Christmas Day. But for now, Shaq singing. Enjoy.

Pat Riley laughs off Shaq’s “Gestapo” comment


Pat Riley understands Shaquille O’Neal.

Understood he needed to push the big man hard if the Heat were going to win the championship in 2006. Understands him now as Shaq goes around promoting his “Shaq Uncut” biography.

That’s why Riley was not offended by Shaq saying talking about Riley’s “Gestapo conditioning,” as the coach told Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel.

“He’s marketing. He’s a marketer. He’s just marketing right now,” Riley told the Sun Sentinel with a dismissive laugh. “That’s all he’s doing….”

“I’m trying to figure out whether or not Hannibal Lecter, the Gestapo or John Gotti, I don’t know which one is worse,” Riley said of the characterizations he’s received from O’Neal over the years. “They’re all equally insulting.”

He smiled, then paused, “but Coach is good enough for me.”

Shaq is about selling books. Well, Shaq is about selling the Shaq persona, right now that is books. Someday (soon I hope) it will be selling Shaq the TNT analyst. There will other Shaqs to sell after that.

Riley gets that. We all should get that.

Shaq plays down spat with Kobe, calls death threat “Ebonics”

Image (1) Shaq and Kobe-thumb-275x260-13925.jpg for post 2602

Thanks to the NBA lockout and the dearth of new news, let’s talk about the Shaquille O’Neal vs. Kobe Bryant feud that is almost a decade old again….

A few weeks back we told you about the parts of Shaq’s new book where he gave his account of his fights with Kobe and, how after Phil Jackson asked them to stop pissing on each other in the media and Kobe then did an interview with Jim Gray, Shaq threatened to kill him.

But, you know, that’s just a figure of speech.

That’s basically what Shaq told Stephen A. Smith on ESPN radio (via Eye on Basketball).

“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….

“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, we were the most dominant, most controversial duo ever created. That’s all that matters.”

While one could suggest that Shaq was trying to settle some old scores and smack Kobe for how everything went down, Shaq said that was not the case.

“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.”


There is something about teams that fight off the field or court and still win on it we find fascinating as a sports culture. Billy Martin’s Oakland A’s… or his Yankees, or pretty much anywhere he went. Now it’s Shaq and Kobe. There have been others, there will be more, but it’s interesting that we are drawn to it.

As for Kobe and Shaq: Not to go all Dave Mason on you but there ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy…

Chris Bosh shrugs off criticism from Shaquille O’Neal

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Two

In his new book, Shaquille O’Neal smacks around Chris Bosh a little. Which is nothing new, Shaq called Bosh the “RuPaul of NBA big men” before, so this was almost tame in comparison.

But when asked about it, Bosh basically shrugged it off.

Our own Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel asked Bosh about the criticism.

“I know the thing is entertainment,” Bosh told the Sun Sentinel. “How are you going to get people to buy your book?

“So I don’t care about stuff that is said in the media or in books or pointed or directed toward somebody, because it’s really just a tactic and nothing else. He’s an author. He can write whatever he wants. If he sells a bunch, then congrats to him.”

Give Bosh a gold star. He’s been right twice today.

Bosh knew he was stepping into the brightest of spotlights when he agreed to go to the Heat with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James last year. He’s well paid, living in a place he likes and playing on a contending team. Living well is the best revenge. So let Shaq talk all he wants.