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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.

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)

D-Wade Calls Out Shaq, Riley Unhappy

The Heat have been nothing short of a mess this year. Not to say that they don’t have plenty of time to turn things around this year — they do — but they’ve still been a mess, and I always love to criticize demented franchises when they’re down. The Heat of course, are no exception. Team leader Dwyane Wade returned to action this week and wasted no time taking Shaq to the woodshed:

“Probably this year more so than any year I have been more vocal with Shaq, talking to him and trying to motivate him,” Wade said Thursday before the Heat left for a game at Boston tonight. “But the main thing is Shaq has got to be self-motivated. He has got to be willing and ready to do it.”

“Even though he is not getting the ball as much as he wants, we need him to help lead this team in other ways, whether it’s rebounding the ball or passing the ball the way he knows how to pass,” Wade said.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before … Shaq being lazy. Hmm. Never would’ve thought it was possible. Meanwhile, Mr. Slick appreciates Wade’s leadership, but doesn’t like him going public with the problem, preferring to keep matters in-house. Naturally. Bottom line: Shaq is nowhere near the player he used to be and is probably lacking the motivation he once had. Still, it’s a long season, and they have plenty of time to get it together. NOT! They’re toast.

(Chest Bump to Matt Watson at NBA FanHouse)

Shaq’s Wife Now Wants Him Back

If there’s anything we’ve learned from the story of Shaq’s marriage and pending divorce, it’s that everything is going ass backwards. For instance, there were reports out there that Shaq was pissed his wife was being cryptic with his money, and that she potentially was nailing her personal trainer on the side. Now we’re finding out that Shaq’s wife has come to her $enses:

Like a lot of his NBA’s foes, Shaquille O’Neal’s wife is holding onto the Diesel for dear life, telling him in court papers that she doesn’t think their nearly five-year marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

Shaunie O’Neal also slam-dunks any notion, as Shaq had alleged in his own divorce petition, that she was “secretive” about her assets and also says she hasn’t done anything “untoward with assets or monies” that belonged to Big Daddy.

This entire situation is just hard to comprehend. We always hear rumors about ballplayers screwing around on their wives, but never the reverse. And come on, of all people, Shaq getting cuckolded? Like I said, seems like the woman has realized what’s best for her.

Shaq, Hinting Divorce Long Time Ago?

Tas over at The Basketball Jones, which by the way, broadcasts a must-hear podcast, posted an old video of Shaq making a snide remark to a reporter. Given the recent news of Shaq’s impending divorce, this clip is a hell of a lot more relevant, if not comical. Take a peak:

Shaq Backs Kobe, Slams Jerry Buss

Maybe some credence needs to be lent to the whining baby that is Kobe Bryant. Screamin’ A. Smith (you know what the A stands for, right?) got Shaq to comment on all the rumors of Kobe Bryant’s potential trade demands, and Kobe’s statement that the Lakers were making him the scapegoat. Kobe specifically said that Jerry Buss told him the Lakers weren’t going to re-sign Shaq before Kobe even decided if he would become a free agent. Here’s what the Big Fella said:

“I believe Kobe 100 percent,” said O’Neal, reached yesterday while in Los Angeles on business. “Absolutely. There’s no doubt in my mind Kobe is telling the truth. I believe him a thousand percent. I would have respected Dr. Buss more as a man if he would have told me that himself, because I know he said it. But he didn’t [tell me]. He never said a damn word to me.”

Well shoot howdy! It ain’t often you can get Kobe and Shaq to come out on the same sides of an issue — this has to be accurate. But it still doesn’t change the fact that Kobe is kicking, screaming, and calling every media outlet possible to get his side of the story heard. Yeah, that’s a great way to get potential teams interested in trading for you.