Tag: Shaquille O’Neal

Former US basketball star Shaquille O'Ne

Shaq says he told Celtics not to trade Perkins (and talks Kobe)


Shaquille O’Neal feels like a lot of Celtics fans do — that the Celtics shouldn’t have traded Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City at the deadline last season. But Shaq went a step farther telling GM Danny Ainge he might not be back and not to make the trade.

That’s just one of the interesting things the future Hall of Famer told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Shaq was back in his old stomping grounds of Baton Rouge as LSU unveiled a new statue of the best big man ever to come out of that school.

Here is what he said of the Celtics.

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.

Shaq on comparing Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.

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.

Shaq on how the league has changed since he entered it.

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.

Shaq in bronze — he gets statue at alma mater LSU

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If you want to remember the young, almost skinny Shaquille O’Neal, you need to head on down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Sure, you could also go to YouTube, but Baton Rouge is a lot more fun.)

On the LSU campus Thursday they unveiled a new statue of Shaq — dunking of course — from his days as a Tiger. Back when he was thin, agile and just starting to dominate.

This is not Shaq pretending to be a statue in Boston, this is an actual statue. And while Shaq put on a few pounds as his career went on, he never got up to the 900 pounds the statue weighs. Probably.

Shaq, of course, accepted the statue with his usual subtle grace (via the LSU basketball twitter feed).

“That is the best sculpture in the country.”

Shaq nicknamed the statue “The Big Bronze.”

Shaq also told the crowd he was disappointed he could not bring a national title to Baton Rouge and that calling coach Dale Brown with the news he was going pro and not returning to LSU was one of the hardest things he has ever done.

Garnett: Shaq hit a home run over the Green Monster at Fenway


Dan Patrick got Kevin Garnett to open up about negotiations with the Celtics (or lack thereof) and about almost going to the Lakers in 2007. But there was one more little tidbit we left out.

Garnett talked about playing with Shaquille O’Neal, which KG said made last season one of the most fun he has had in the NBA in a long time. And that led to an interesting note from KG about Shaq, as quoted at CSNNE.com.

Garnett told Patrick that the host had a better chance of hitting a ball over the Green Monster than scoring a basket in an NBA game. That led to an exchange in which Garnett recalled a softball game that the Celtics played at Fenway Park. Garnett said he hit one ball off of the Green Monster. He said Rajon Rondo hit two off the Wall and Shaquille O’Neal, of course, knocked one over the Monster.

Honestly, the fact that Shaq knocked one over the Green Monster does not shock me — he got heavy and injured late in his career but the man was freakishly athletic for his size. Remember how quick his spin moves were back in Orlando?

But Rondo hit the Green Monster twice? Now that does shock me.

Dwight Howard has hired free throw shooting guru

Orlando Magic v Phoenix Suns

There are moments — crucial end-of-close-game moments — when Stan Van Gundy has to sit his best player, Dwight Howard. Or they can’t trust giving him the ball.

Because Howard will get fouled, and he shot only 59.6 percent from the free throw line last year (which is pretty much right at his career average of 59.8 percent). It’s a liability.

So Howard is working with free throw guru Ed Palubinskas this summer to change his game, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Palubinskas, an Australian national and Olympian, hit 87.5 percent of his free throws while at LSU and has become a coach to many big names.

Palubinskas worked with Magic teammate Brandon Bass a few years back and Bass’ free throw percentage jumped from 75 percent to 82 percent.

The biggest name he worked with Shaquille O’Neal, but it didn’t seem to help — Shaq shot 51.3 percent his season with Palubinskas. He did get better the next two seasons and shot a career best 62.2 percent two years later, but you can decide for yourself if Palubinskas gets the credit for that. You can also decide for yourself how good a student Shaq would have been for any teacher.

Will it help Howard? Well at least Howard will be a willing student. But we’ll wait until we see Howard hitting 70 percent or better and not having Van Gundy worried abut keeping him on the floor at the end of close games before we decide.

Infamous booster Nevin Shapiro allegedly hung out with Dwyane Wade, Shaq, along with rest of Miami

Miami Heat basketball player Dwyane Wade attends a fashion show of the Yves Saint Laurent collection as part of spring-summer 2012 men's fashion season presented in Paris on Friday, June 24, 2011
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It was only really a matter of time, honestly. Nevin Shapiro is the infamous convict who ran a Ponzi scheme and recently provided enough detailed evidence of widespread corruption and NCAA violation at the University of Miami to tarnish their reputation for a decade. The U is a nuclear wasteland right now as the NCAA tries to figure out what to do about the rampant violations that have gone on throughout the years, whether they’re bad enough to supersede their standard statute of limitations, and exactly how much money went to hookers. That’s right, hookers.

As all this happened in Miami, and the circles of athletics tend to loop out into Venn diagrams of absurdity with the higher levels, especially as many U athletes who knew and trusted Nevin became professional athletes who knew and trusted Shapiro, that eventually there would be some brief, grazing impact with the Heat. It’s simply too unlikely that no member of the Heat and Shapiro ever crossed paths. Turns out, the Miami Herald reports that it wasn’t just a path crossing. They report that Shapiro and two very prominent members of NBA society in the mid-00’s knew Shapiro according to the incarcerated former booster, as told by Lucky Strikes bowling alley co-owner Brian D. Elias:

Elias said while that may have happened under his nose, he doesn’t remember seeing Shapiro at Lucky Strike often with UM players. But he does remember Shapiro ringing up similar tabs while he partied with his girlfriend and others.

“He would go there virtually every weekend to watch college and pro football,” Elias said. “It got to a point where we would speak every time I saw him there. We became friends. He may not have been tall in stature. But he had a huge personality. Everybody liked him. People gravitated to him, I’m not talking about football players, I’m talking about people in general. He liked to brag about not just UM [players], but anybody, playing around with Dwyane Wade, Shaq, the Chief of Police. He never ever, ever, mentioned to me he had a tournament bowling for dollars at Lucky Strike in all the times I knew him.

via Eye on the U | Lucky Strike co-owner said UM President Donna Shalala ‘shouldn’t be demonized’ in infamous photo.

So the owner of a bowling alley who used to talk with Shapiro years ago says that Shapiro said he hung out with Shaq and Wade.

Well, I’m convinced 100% that this is completely accurate!

You’re going to find a lot of these kinds of ancillary connections to Shapiro all over Miami. He operated in the biggest clubs, the most known spots, knew the most powerful people. You don’t rip off millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme hanging out with the staff at T.G.I.Friday’s. So it’s entirely possible he was introduced to Shaq and Wade at some point. It’s possible they may have run in similar circles at one point. It’s conceivable they were friends.


This is a scandal that rocked Miami’s athletic community. No one’s going to be left untouched by the end of it. Let’s just hope the good name of Antoine Walker isn’t dragged into this.