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Thumbgate: Did Davis intentionally hurt Shaq?

Mar 2, 2010, 7:22 PM EDT

NBA_o'neal1_250.jpgLike it was the Zapruder film, Cavaliers and Celtics fans have been poring over the footage from the thumb injury to Shaquille O’Neal. And, as they always do (for some odd reason), the conspiracy freaks have found a new cause:

Glen Davis intentionally hurt Shaq’s thumb.

Well, at least it’s something to distract the conspiracy folk from the CIA and JFK for a couple days. The Boston Herald breaks it down (via Jeff at the OG of NBA blogs, Celticsblog).

An extended video from the game shows that the Cavs actually had a second offensive possession before O’Neal was removed from the game. The video shows Davis grabbing at O’Neal’s thumb, and the exchange clearly happened after the initial injury.

Check out the video and decide for yourself.

Clearly Big Baby is going after the thumb on the possession after the injury, but it’s hard to where any actual damage happens. However, when Shaq gets the ball on that possession is when he calls time out.

It seems a bit like the JFK assassination to me in that people are trying to prescribe far more complex and sinister motives when the most simple of explanations is likely. But people love their conspiracy theories.

Of course, if Davis really did aggravate Shaw’s injury and take him out of the game, LeBron James and the Cavaliers should send him a box of chocolates as a thank you. The Celtics were up 11 and beating Cleveland down until Shaq got inured, the Cavaliers had to go small and they just ran over the Celtics.

The CIA term for that is blowback — the unintended consequences of a covert action. Although, to think the outcome was blowback is thou think there was a conspiracy in the first place.

  1. john - Mar 2, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    I hope Lebron uses this as extra motivation when the Cavs and Celtics meet in the second round.

  2. coach g - Mar 2, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    Watch the first play when Shaq goes to shoot and Baby rakes his hand pulling down on his thumb. Thumb sticks out sideways like a dislocation. Looked like Baby was trying to rake the thumb as much as trying to block a shot.
    Well, if the old guys from bean town make it to the playoffs and last a round or two, maybe Shaq and the Baby will meet again.
    Baby’s good at knocking down courtside kids or sneak injuring a thumb. Lets see if he holds his water next time he suits up against Shaq.

  3. LoveShaq - Mar 2, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    I have reviewed this tape over and over again. It is quite evident that Shaq’s thumb was manipulated and wrenched in an attempt to cause an injury. What is the purpose of holding on to and jamming Shaq’s thumb after the completion of the play? Shaq is envied by many in the NBA who are trying to dismantle the Cavs no. 1 position. It is heartbreaking to know that Shaq will be out of commision for a while due to a mslicious act/ Sick! Go Cavs and Go Lebron!!! You will prevail despite all!

  4. Kimmer - Mar 3, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    Shaq is the ultimate Big Baby if he takes steps to retaliate. One of the oldest sayings in hoops is: “The hand is part of the ball.” Shaq playing with an injured thumb is an intrinsic weakness. Anyone could have done this to him and gotten away with it while looking bad to Shaq supporters. Shaq needs to take time to heal, or his supporters simply need to shut up about this.

  5. OldSchooler - Mar 3, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    Crock of Bull. I’m not an avid Celtics fan but I loved Russell, Havlicek, Sam & KC, McKale, Larry, etc. KG, Paul and Ray are also great. And Red was a genius coach and had the courage to bring black players into a hostile environment. So, yeah, I wanted to jump on a bandwagon and condemn Glenn. OK, Davis has to learn some emotional control. I hesitated to look at the video because I don’t like seeing ugly injuries. But when I finally looked, geez! There’s nothing there. Davis didn’t try to injure Shaq on the initial play. He was going for the ball. And there’s no way that he could have known that Shaq’s thumb was hurt. Mike Brown didn’t know it. The Cav’s bench didn’t know it. The incidental contact on the following play was just that; incidental! Whom ever concocted this BS story should get a job with the National Inquirer or Access Hollywood. Just a crock of bull.

  6. KimmerNeedsaClue - Mar 3, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    It looks bad to EVERYONE other than a blind Celtics fan or Anti-Shaq fan. It was shady and there’s no other explanation that is needed. It you need to injure other players to stop them, you don’t belong on the court w/ them.

  7. bobdevo - Mar 3, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    The league should take action against the Big Baby, who clearly resorted to (and got caught) intentionally twisting Shaq’s thumb. Technically speaking, it was a criminal assault.
    Hockey players have been charged criminally with assaults on the ice; why not take BB down to booking for some mugshots?

  8. bobdevo - Mar 3, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    @Kimmer: They’re not talking about the play where Big Baby slaps the ball and the hand; they’re talking about the next play, where you can clearly see him grab the thumb and twist it.

  9. Bizzle - Mar 3, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Shaq is dirty and throws elbows all over the place. He got what he deserved

  10. CRW - Mar 3, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    C’mon. Injuries happen in the NBA. It was a minor hit. Now way Big Baby could have known Shaq would go out with an injury. If it were that easy, LeBron, Kobe, Carmello, D-Wade and the rest of Team USA would all be sitting out with injuries and we’d be watching the Pacers, Nets, T-Wolves, and Warriors battling for the title.
    Plus, Shaq and Big Baby are both LSU alumni. Big Baby got his nickname because he was originally called “Baby Shaq”. It would be like sweeping your grandad’s knee in a flag football game…

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