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Basketball Fan
03-05-2009, 07:27 PM
http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/basketball/story/933528.html


Eventually, we'll know what happened with Shaq, Wade


Buy PhotoPhoenix Suns center Shaquille O'Neal defends Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade late in the fourth quarter of a game Wednesday night, March 4, 2009 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. JOHN VANBEEKUM / MIAMI HERALD STAFF
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Dwyane Wade scores 35 as Miami Heat spoils Shaq's return
BY ISRAEL GUTIERREZ
igutierrez@MiamiHerald.com
There's something there.

As much as neither wanted to admit to even the slightest bit of dislike for each other, there's something between Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade that has somehow remained trapped in the confines of the locker room they used to share.

The encounters are becoming a little less friendly each time, and they are heading to the verge of just plain chilly.

That was Udonis Haslem, not Wade, whom O'Neal spent the pregame chatting up for several minutes, with Dorell Wright coming in late for a few words of his own. And the pretip handshake was typical, a hand slap, a halfway man hug and a tap from Wade on Shaq's bald head. Not much different from what Wade would have done to Rasheed Wallace before a game.

During the game, Wade broke the cardinal rule of playing against O'Neal, which goes something like this: Thou shalt not attempt to dunk on Shaq, at least if you want to retain consciousness and four healthy limbs. Wade knows that. He said as much before the two played against each other for the first time this year in Phoenix.

Yet there Wade was in the fourth quarter, elevating a few feet from the rim, with O'Neal standing in his way. Wade got the expected treatment, taking a shot near the face and falling to the floor as a result.

A MESSAGE

It was the foul before that when O'Neal knocked Wade to the floor and stood over his former teammate's body for a few extra moments staring down at him.

Playful? Maybe. A message? Probably that, too.

And it's not just a one-sided distaste.

Wade has continuously stated that the relationship between the two has died down some since O'Neal was traded to Phoenix last year.

And he said twice before Wednesday's game that his grandmother taught him to forgive but not forget.

What exactly did he need to forgive O'Neal for?

Was it strictly for bailing on the sinking ship that was the 15-victory Heat last season, or is there more to it?

Are those rumors of O'Neal mockingly calling Wade ''Wonder Boy'' toward the end of their tenure together true, and is that sticking with Wade? Maybe it's how O'Neal gushes over Bryant these days and never brings up the other two-guard with which he won a title.

Even Wednesday, O'Neal went as far as to mention Alonzo Mourning, Antoine Walker, Gary Payton, James Posey and Haslem as parts of his most vivid memories of the 2005-06 championship season.

Wade? He only spoke of him when asked specifically about him.

There must be something there. And if it isn't coming out yet, it eventually has to.

O'Neal's not one to keep those feelings hidden for long.

All it took was one comment from Stan Van Gundy, his former coach, about O'Neal's flop against Dwight Howard on Tuesday for Shaq to unleash fury on Van Gundy.

''One thing I really despise is a front-runner,'' O'Neal said of the Magic's coach. ``I know for a fact he's a master of panic, and when it gets time for his team to go into the postseason and do certain things, he will let them down because of his panic. I've been there before. I've played for him.

``Yeah, it probably was a flop, but flopping is wrong. Flopping would describe his coaching.

``I'm not going to let anybody take shots at me. He's a nobody to me.''

That's pretty harsh, even coming from Shaq.

It's also more of his revisionist history at work. Van Gundy is hardly a front-runner.

He has been successful with every NBA team he coached, including the Heat team that reached the conference semifinals the season before O'Neal got to Miami.

It's a comment like that, one which O'Neal clearly has been holding back since Van Gundy stepped down as the Heat's coach in 2006, that makes you reconsider exactly why Van Gundy left.

NOT SURE NOW

All the speculation then was Riley-related, but now you can't be so sure.

Who knows what it will take for him to unload on Wade, but there has to be something that remains unspoken.

At least the Heat crowd Wednesday had its cathartic experience. Yeah, there was the pleasant greeting when the big fella was officially introduced. But the boos started pouring down when O'Neal hit the foul line for the first time.

And by the time he knocked down Wade on that final foul, the chants of ''Shaq, you [stink],'' -- the calls usually reserved for the officials -- filled the arena.

At least the fans aren't holding back their disgust for the player who couldn't withstand one losing season and bolted toward a then-contender.

Talk about a front-runner.

Maybe nothing will ever be unearthed. Maybe there isn't even anything between the two former championship teammates.

But Shaq's history shows otherwise. And their actions lately tend to support that.

Haggard
03-05-2009, 09:23 PM
definately belongs in the fiction category..

its nothing but conjecture and speculations. and doesn't even read that well

jeffg-body
03-05-2009, 09:26 PM
I didn't believe the hype around it myself but you have to wonder after the way Shaq looked at Wade on that last foul.

NuffSaid
03-06-2009, 07:43 PM
Shaq and Penny (Hardaway) @ Magic...

Shaq and Kobe @ Lakers...

Shaq and DWade @ Heat...

Shaq and Amare @ Suns...

Anyone notice a pattern here?

If you hadn't guessed it, everywhere Shaq goes there seems to be some form of descention in the ranks between himself and the (other) star player. I'm just surprised that it's btwn himself and Amare and not Nash this time around. But then again, Amare was the primer Big Man in Phoenix before Shaq arrived. So, there is probable cause for a riff to form there. Still, Shaq has a very big ego - the biggest! It stands to reason he'd want - DEMAND - the spotlight w/every team he goes to.

I'm not in the least bit surprised to learn of some tension btwn himself and D-Wade any more than I was concerning himself and Kobe. Shaq needs to be the "big man on campus". His pride and ego won't stand for anything less.

croz24
03-06-2009, 07:57 PM
Shaq and Penny (Hardaway) @ Magic...

Shaq and Kobe @ Lakers...

Shaq and DWade @ Heat...

Shaq and Amare @ Suns...

Anyone notice a pattern here?

If you hadn't guessed it, everywhere Shaq goes there seems to be some form of descention in the ranks between himself and the (other) star player. I'm just surprised that it's btwn himself and Amare and not Nash this time around. But then again, Amare was the primer Big Man in Phoenix before Shaq arrived. So, there is probable cause for a riff to form there. Still, Shaq has a very big ego - the biggest! It stands to reason he'd want - DEMAND - the spotlight w/every team he goes to.

I'm not in the least bit surprised to learn of some tension btwn himself and D-Wade any more than I was concerning himself and Kobe. Shaq needs to be the "big man on campus". His pride and ego won't stand for anything less.

again, who cares whether shaq had issues with those players or not...let's see, shaq led the magic to the finals - check...shaq led/helped lead the lakers to the finals and won 3 championships - check...shaq helped lead the heat to the finals and 1 championship - check...i'll gladly take some of this dissension if it helps the pacers to a championship or two.

Sollozzo
03-06-2009, 08:14 PM
I'm sure Shaq could be a hard guy to get along with, but his track record of excellence speaks for itself.

Shade
03-07-2009, 03:36 PM
Shaq and Penny (Hardaway) @ Magic...

Shaq and Kobe @ Lakers...

Shaq and DWade @ Heat...

Shaq and Amare @ Suns...

Anyone notice a pattern here?

If you hadn't guessed it, everywhere Shaq goes there seems to be some form of descention in the ranks between himself and the (other) star player. I'm just surprised that it's btwn himself and Amare and not Nash this time around. But then again, Amare was the primer Big Man in Phoenix before Shaq arrived. So, there is probable cause for a riff to form there. Still, Shaq has a very big ego - the biggest! It stands to reason he'd want - DEMAND - the spotlight w/every team he goes to.

I'm not in the least bit surprised to learn of some tension btwn himself and D-Wade any more than I was concerning himself and Kobe. Shaq needs to be the "big man on campus". His pride and ego won't stand for anything less.

You beat me to it.

There is an established pattern here. Shaq has always known how to play the media, but at the end of the day, he believes that he is the best player on every team he's on, and he grows increasingly jealous if someone else shares, or God forbid "steals," the spotlight from him. He's always been a "me first" player, and he always will be. His ego was too big for Orlando, too big for Miami, and too big for Phoenix. His ego was too big for freaking L.A.! Humble the man is not.

Shade
03-07-2009, 03:39 PM
I'm sure Shaq could be a hard guy to get along with, but his track record of excellence speaks for itself.

As is his track record of always being on a team with one of the best players in the league.

croz24
03-07-2009, 04:07 PM
As is his track record of always being on a team with one of the best players in the league.

what were the magic, lakers, and heat without shaq. shaq may have had some help, but without shaq, none of those teams sniff the finals. but i mean if you want to go there, look at jordan, magic, and bird, they all had help too.

YoSoyIndy
03-07-2009, 05:28 PM
what were the magic, lakers, and heat without shaq. shaq may have had some help, but without shaq, none of those teams sniff the finals. but i mean if you want to go there, look at jordan, magic, and bird, they all had help too.

Great point. None of those teams won w/o Shaq. The Lakers could have still beat the Pacers in 2000 w/o Kobe. I don't think the Heat would have won w/o Wade though. Shaq had peaked by then.

Shade
03-07-2009, 08:48 PM
what were the magic, lakers, and heat without shaq. shaq may have had some help, but without shaq, none of those teams sniff the finals. but i mean if you want to go there, look at jordan, magic, and bird, they all had help too.

I could easily say that w/o Penny, Kobe, or Wade, none of those teams sniff the Finals, either. In fact, in the case of the Heat, Wade was clearly the better player.

The point is, being a great player doesn't entitle you to be a big jerk. I guess Shaq's uncle taught him that with great power comes a great big head.

Sollozzo
03-07-2009, 10:39 PM
I could easily say that w/o Penny, Kobe, or Wade, none of those teams sniff the Finals, either. In fact, in the case of the Heat, Wade was clearly the better player.

The point is, being a great player doesn't entitle you to be a big jerk. I guess Shaq's uncle taught him that with great power comes a great big head.


You can say that about any great player. Does Jordan win as many titles w/o a Pippen type player? Probably not. Does Bird win without McHale? No. You could go on and on and on with those comparisons.

What happened to the Lakers when Shaq left? They went to the lottery while the Heat won 59 games and went to 7 games in the ECF's against Detroit (Shaq was the true MVP that season, not Nash). And Miami was a very good team with Wade at the helm (as 04 showed with him taking them to the semis) but Shaq turned that into an elite team. Let's not forget Shaq ABUSING Ben Wallace and co in game 6 of the 06 ECF's to put the Heat in the finals.

Like I said, I'll freely concede that Shaq can be rather difficult to get along with. Many great players can be douches to their teammates. One time after MJ called out Bill Cartwright infront of their teammates Cartwright told him that he would break his legs and make sure he'd never play basketball again if he did it another time.

heywoode
03-07-2009, 11:36 PM
They can all be douches, but Shaq's doucheness knows no bounds. As for his on-court success, KEEP IT. I don't want to have Shaq on the Pacers. Didn't want him when he was the best player in the league and a douche, and I certainly don't want him now when he's washed up (but still a decently great player) and an even bigger, older douche.

He's the douche, and the cause of the majority of the problem when there is a rift. JMO, but this time I happen to be right!

I've tried to like the guy, but every time I start to, he does or says something to make me feel otherwise.