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Bill Walton Takes Shaq to Task

I remember watching Walton’s criticism of Shaq air on ESPN Sunday. I thought it was harsh and poignant, and most of all, accurate. I didn’t think much of it at the time because I was in agreement with Walton’s assessment. Well, come to find that Walton’s comments have created somewhat of a stir that resulted in a response from Shaq. Thankfully Tom Ziller posted the video at FanHouse (via Ballhype) for our viewing pleasure. (If you don’t have time to watch the video, you can read some of the exchange instead).

Walton nails it here. Shaq is in a lose-lose situation if you think about it; he plays well, we all wonder what happened in Miami and think he gave up. He plays poorly, then we were all right that he had nothing left. And Shaq’s defense of attacking Walton’s career is a lame one. Shaq has the right to claim scoreboard on nearly anyone he encounters. Having to resort to that argument means Shaq really had no proper defense for Walton’s comments. I’m surprised after all these years that Shaq hasn’t learned that missing/tanking/being lazy during the regular season leaves him open to public criticism.

Latrell Sprewell Selling Yacht to Feed His Family

Makes him look pretty stupid now for having rejected that $21 million contract. You know, hard to work on only 7 mil a year when you got a family to feed. No, not a slap in the face to the rest of us squeezing out 35 g’s a year, spending a week’s pay on NBA tickets, nothing like that. Anyway, I’m sure all of you are probably clamoring for a Spree update, and here it is:

Former NBA star Latrell Sprewell’s home is up for foreclosure and his yacht sold at auction to help pay off the $1.3 million he owes on the boat, according to court filings.

RBS Citizens NA, or Citizens Bank, filed a foreclosure suit last week in Milwaukee County for the $405,000 home Sprewell bought in the Milwaukee suburb of River Hills in 1994.

In court documents, the bank said Sprewell owed $295,138 in outstanding payments plus interest.

And here might be the best part: the yacht Spree bought back when he was making some bank is called “Milwaukee’s Best.” Gotta love the sense of humor. Well, guess all the embarrassment he caused the league by his choking incident with P.J. back in the day has come back around and hit him in a bad way. Nothing quite says “here’s a kick to your manhood in the groin” like getting possessions seized by the government. Couldn’t happen to a better guy.

Gregg Popovich Rips Pau Gasol Trade

It was only a matter of time before someone said what everyone was thinking — the Lakers ripped the Grizzlies off. They acquired a premium player like Pau Gasol, who pretty much single-handedly got the Grizzlies into the playoffs a few times, for the likes of nearly nothing. Kwame Brown, Javaris Critenton, Pau’s brother Marc, and a pair of first-round picks isn’t exactly a king’s ransom. About the only thing there worth any value would be the draft picks, but you figure the Lakers are getting Pau so those picks will probably be late first-round, like 25th or so. So when you think about it, what did the Lakers give up? Not a whole lot. And that’s what makes Spurs coach Gregg Popovich so peeved:

“What they did in Memphis is beyond comprehension,” said Popovich. “There should be a trade committee that can scratch all trades that make no sense. I just wish I had been on a trade committee that oversees NBA trades. I’d like to elect myself to that committee. I would have voted no to the L.A. trade.”

I wonder what he has to say about the Shaq trade huh? Guess Pop feels a bit threatened — as well he should. The Spurs might be the defending champions, but now the Lakers provide some serious competition. I’ll still give the nod to San Antonio, but the gap has certainly closed. The playoffs are going to be quite exciting, to say the least.

Gilbert Arenas Knows Real Pain

Once again, for I dunno, the hundred millionth time, Gil proves to us why he is the greatest athlete on Earth. From the watchful eye of Agent Steinz, past whom nothing escapes, including the wrath of Gilbert’s razor, comes this anecdote. Here’s Gilbert on the worst pain he’s felt, in an interview with Men’s Journal:

“When I was new in the NBA the team veterans convinced me to shave, you know, down there, because they said the hair stinks. I used my girlfriend’s razor, which was rusty and gave me keloids. The doctor prescribed medicine to dab on, but I just poured it all over. Three days later I woke up screaming. The skin was burnt off my scrotum, down to my crack, everything — just raw flesh. I still had to run and play, so I used a numbing spray for a month until it healed. Now I use clippers.”

And now if I may, steal a line from Marcel Mutoni of Slam Online — Gilbert Arenas: Where Too Much Information Happens. Now that is one funny story. And that’s what makes Gilbert great. (and he also probably just got a bunch of men thinking, too)

(via Ballhype)

Shaquille O’Neal Brand New Phoenix Suns Jerseys Now On Sale!

Gotta give made props to Anders(on) Varejao for hooking up this sweet pic. We’re all piling on Shaq, so might as well continue the awesomeness.

We may laugh now, but when the playoffs come, can Shaq charge it back up and become a new man? It’s possible. But still, this is too funny to pass on. Hopefully he has enough left in the tank to make us all eat our words. Or at least most of us.

Shaq Traded to Phoenix? Can the Suns Run on Diesel?

If ever passing a physical were a challenge, this would certainly be the case. Usually (as in the Johan Santana case) it’s a gimme. A piece of cake. But here they’re saying that passing the physical is the hangup between Shaq getting traded from the Miami Heat to the Phoenix Suns for Marcus Banks and Shawn Marion. Yeah, that’s kinda a big deal. Not such a given when it comes to the fossil that Shaq is. So how about this for a sec, how the hell is Shaq going to fit in with that run and gun style of Phoenix? And how the hell will they afford his $40 million contract over the next two years. What the eff are they thinking?

By getting rid of Banks that’s like $5 mil a year off the books. Marion was set to make around $18 mil in an option next year that Phoenix didn’t have to pick up. Instead, they’re now adding $20 million with Shaq. That’s ludicrous. I just can’t even fathom a move like this. Shaq hasn’t been healthy, hasn’t been productive, and his team hasn’t won. What could he possible have to offer? I just don’t get this move, I really don’t. Nice going by Miami though — at least they unloaded an assload of salary off their books. It’s not like Shaq was an asset to them any longer. Wow, I just can’t wrap my arms around this deal at all. The Lakers’ acquisition of Pau Gasol must have everyone in the West dirtying their huggies BIGTIME. How else can you explain it?

(chest bump to Anders(on) Varejao with the assist on the story)

Tayshaun Prince Calls Out Kobe Bryant the Ballhog

Thursday night in Detroit, Kobe Bryant had a triple-double. If you asked him though, he probably wouldn’t have been proud of it. Kobe had 39 points, 10 boards, and get this — 11 turnovers. Nice. I’m guessing he had so many turnovers because nobody else on his team touched the ball. That’s something Tayshaun Prince noticed (while Prince wasn’t busy scoring 22 points and making the game-winning three pointer). After shooting the Pistons to a win, Prince joined WDFN’s post game radio show and had this to say about the final play of the game for the Lakers that Lamar Odom airballed:

Kobe pretty much took all of the shots in the second half so when another guy has to make a play late in the game it’s kind of tough for him because he hasn’t had the ball in a while.

True, the Lakers wouldn’t have been in the game that closely if Kobe hadn’t carried him in the second half, but he has to realize his teammates need to be more involved. Wasn’t that the thing about MJ? For all the great clutch shots he made, didn’t he also have just as vital a part setting up his teammates like Steve Kerr? Either that or Kobe has to do a better job getting open in order to take those potential game-winners. Anyway, getting back to it, great words from Tayshaun — and completely true, too.