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Paul Pierce Hammers the Heat

My faithful Indian companion. Couldn’t resist it. For some reason or another, probably because they suck, the Miami Heat have been a great source for outstanding quotes this year. And this isn’t limited to just their players and coaches — it extends to opponents as well. Witness Paul Pierce, who played a few minutes in Boston’s blow out of Miami in which the Heat were held to an NBA record-low 17 field goals.

Kevin Garnett offered polite praise of the Miami Heat before Paul Pierce interrupted the postgame news conference and said, “Man, I am going to tell you the truth. They got D-Leaguers out there, so I think we just handled our business,” the Boston forward said, listing some of the five Miami players who spent time in the developmental league this season. “We’re supposed to do that.”

I’m sure glad he realizes it and I’m happy he didn’t play the PC game like Garnett. Pierce has been there — last year comes to mind. It’s OK for him to call them out for what they really are since he had to take all that criticism before when the C’s were the laughing stock of the NBA. Besides, what good are the punching bags of the league if you can’t make fun of them. It’s only Shaq who doesn’t have a right to complain.

What is Shaq’s Problem?

Honestly, I don’t get this guy. Maybe he’s like Gary Sheffield or something where he always needs an enemy as motivation to stay focused. Because for some reason Shaq can’t be traded to a new team without getting in some parting shots on his old team. That’s why I don’t understand how the dude got off these completely unprovoked words towards his former team:

“I love playing for this coach and I love playing with these guys. We have professionals who know what to do. No one is asking me to play with Chris Quinn or Ricky Davis. I’m actually on a team again.”

Was that really necessary, Shaq? Pat Riley, who is about the last person I’d be defending at this point, actually is justified in calling it sad that Shaq is still attacking the Heat. I would completely agree. Jorge Sedano at 790 The Ticket in Miami says Shaq is the handles breakups more unprofessionally than any other athlete. I might have to agree.

This is the same Shaq whose first words upon receiving the NBA championship trophy with Miami was to rave about Riley, calling him the best coach he’s ever had — a blatant slap in the face of Phil Jackson. It makes you wonder why Shaq would use such a great, beautiful stage to bring down someone from his past rather than just talk about the present. These comments were yet another example of Shaq making unprovoked attacks that only make him look bad. Honestly Shaq, just keep it to yourself, we’re tired of this business already.

Watch the Dallas Mavericks Live in 3D

Even if Mark Cuban is doing his best to piss off bloggers and make it awkward for others, he still is on the cutting edge when it comes to product development. The man who started HDNet has arranged a screening of the Mavericks/Clippers game Tuesday in 3D at a movie theater. No surprise that Cuban’s idea is a form of synergy for the man who owns both the Mavericks and some Landmark theaters, but the concept in itself is quite creative. FSN Southwest will broadcast the game in 2-D and work with a special 3-D production crew to make the 3-D broadcast work. Cuban seems to think the idea is a real winner:

“I think 3-D will play a huge role in out-of-home entertainment for the next few years,” said Cuban, founder of HDNet. “It will be a unique experience for watching sports, concerts and special events that only theaters will be able to offer.”

I don’t know if I’d be running out of the house to go catch a basketball game in 3-D, but I do have to say that I’m quite intrigued. And by intrigued, I mean I’d like to watch it if I had the opportunity, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do so. Man, never shy to express his opinion, Mark Cuban is always way ahead of the game when it comes to technological ideas. Is it any surprise he’s a billionaire?

Gilbert Collaborates with Benihana on New Hibachi Shoe

Man, even while injured, the dude still makes great headlines. He’s had some shoes with Adidas now for a few years, and they’re starting to expand into the customizations realm. For instance, Gil and Adidas released a special edition Halo version of the Gil II Zeros in honor of the popular video game. While Gil told us to head out to certain shoes stores to pick up the special edition Gil II’s, I couldn’t find em at the LA stores. We might have to fix that problem considering Gil’s latest sneaker — the Hibachis are being released:

Unfortunately for me, only 1,000 are being made, and they’re only available in DC. And if I do say so myself, the kicks sound a lot cooler than they look. Not the best of the limited edition Gil II Zero’s. I think my fave is the one that has the erasable wet/dry board on it. Now that is sick. Thanks to Kicks On Fire for the pic.

Allen Iverson Has Grown Up, Matured

Ten years ago, this would have been a joke of a headline. A.I. was the badboy of the NBA — a posterchild for the negative image surrounding the league. He was in and out of trouble, all tatted up, and getting into issues with his coaches. He was the antithesis of what David Stern wanted in the league. These days however, the script has flipped. A.I. has become a positive image in the NBA. He was received warmly in Philadelphia Wednesday night, greeted by the din of a standing ovation. In a roundtable discussion on ESPN recently, he was dubbed the NBA player most similar to what Brett Favre represented in the NFL. So how has the transformation taken place — one that strikes me as so eerily familiar to that of Andre Agassi? A.I. explained after the loss to the Sixers in his post game media conference:

People wonder why you don’t hear my name with a bunch of negative stuff anymore … I’m 32-years-old — I’m too old for that. As a person, I just don’t do the same things. Looking back on it, I’m embarrassed about a lot of those things. A lot of those situations didn’t have to happen, and I could have controlled all of it. So when I ran-in with coaches and the organization at times, a lot of the time just being young and not realizing it was my fault, it was. I could have controlled it, but I chose not to, and that’s why I went through the downs that I went through.

After seeing all the love spread around at the Wachovia Center and the way Iverson was touched by the fan appreciation, it was hard not to get caught up in the emotions. If you’re one who once viewed Iverson in a negative light, there’s no shame in changing your stance and opinion towards the man considering he’s changed as well. It’s great to see a grown-up A.I. who takes responsibility for his foolish ways as a youth, and who has now become the vocal leader for an NBA team for the first time in his career. Between his hustle, toughness, gritty play, and evolved character, it’s extremely difficult to root against Allen Iverson. He has certainly made me a fan of his.

Kevin Garnett Doesn’t Deny He Tanked

One of the big stories floating around on Tuesday was the comment from Timberwolves owner, Glen Taylor, who said Kevin Garnett tanked down the stretch last season. Taylor went out of his way to specify that it wasn’t the entire team, but rather solely KG, who was tanking towards the end of the year, by not playing in the last five games. Well, obviously with his head focused squarely on the matter at hand — the Houston Rockets and their 22-game winning streak — KG wasn’t digging for NBA headlines during the day. So when he was interviewed after the game by TNT’s David Aldridge, he hadn’t heard about Taylor’s comments. When told by Aldridge what Taylor had said, here was Garnett’s response:

I’m in Boston, I care less what Glen Taylor thinks of Kevin Garnett. Right now, huge win for us. That’s nonsense. I don’t even know why he would bring that up …”

Now I’m not going to say that Garnett’s response was an indictment, but I will say I’m surprised he didn’t defend himself against the charges by Taylor. I would have expected something to the effect of: “I played there my whole career, gave it my all, took them to the playoffs … I always worked hard there.” Sure, KG was more or less ambushed by Aldridge about the matter, but I’m still surprised that he didn’t outright deny the tanking charge. That seems to me like it would have been the natural reaction if it were the case.

Allen Iverson Was Pretty Good at that Whole Football Thing

It wasn’t until my man Cacique at Sporting News Radio made mention of this that I realized what I was missing out on. According to YouTube, over 1.1 million people have seen the stud that is Allen Iverson play high school football. Until today, I was not one of them. In case you haven’t either, please enjoy the awesomeness of A.I. who was apparently quite the two-sport star in high school, good enough to have played in the NFL, they say. Check out his highlight reel:

For anyone who’s been watching A.I. ball for the last 10-15 years or so, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. He’s always appeared strikingly quick and elusive on the court, making his name by darting through defenders on the dribble, and stealing passes on defense. I think it’s safe to say he made the right career choice, no matter how good he was at football.