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The reality: Shaq is not going to Miami

Jul 14, 2010, 10:52 AM EDT

shaq.jpgOf course Shaquille O’Neal wants to be in Miami — he likes to be in the middle of the circus (as one Heat source said in Vegas). And next season there will be no bigger circus, no bigger spotlight than Miami. Plus, they could use a center, so…

So what?

When Shaq left Miami last time, he took parting shots at Pat Riley. And Riley still runs the show there, he is the exec who just pulled off the impossible. You think the franchise will welcome Shaq and his ego back now? Our own Ira Winderman, the Heat beat writer for the Sun-Sentinel, heard and tweeted the same thing.

Can’t stop the chatter, but any Heat-Shaq interest being floated out there apparently is a one-way street coming from Shaq’s side.

Pat Riley coached during part of Shaq’s time in Miami and he had the cojones to stand up to Shaq — warned him stop talking about how the Lakers treated him, and to say nothing about Stan Van Gundy. Shaq was quiet.

Until he left. Then he slammed Riley, saying he sabotaged his time there, even saying the Heat did not give him proper medical treatment.

You think Riley forgets that? And for the record now, that is a bad breakup in Orlando, then Los Angeles, then Miami and… why do you want to bring him on to your contender again.

Shaq is a physically larger (much physically larger) version of Allen Iverson from last year — he wants more money and a larger role than his skills dictate any more. That could lead to a locker-room distraction.

Atlanta is rumored to have offered him the mid-level exception of $5.8 million for two years, but they want him to come off the bench. The Cavaliers are trying to use Shaq in a sign-and-trade to get Marvin Williams from the Hawks. Shaq is thinking about it. But he may not have any other options (the Spurs are not interested and Dallas got their big men).

And Miami is not going to happen.

  1. saw - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    I can’t help but think that a genuine apology from Shaq to Riley and Heat fans along with a minimum salary would get Shaq back in town. There’s a better chance that LeBron and Dan Gilbert take salsa dancing classes together but I do that that scenario would get Shaq back on the Heat.
    It’s too bad, without the ego he’s really a nice fit.

  2. ItalianArmyGuy - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    I will believe its impossible when I see him in a different uniform to start the season. You are talking about a team that just signed 36-year-old Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his 7.4 points-per-game average, who was sent packing into retirement last year IN FAVOR OF Shaq by the Cavs, whom he had played for his entire 13 years (and who allegedly value “loyalty”). Their other “big” is 38-year-old Juwan Howard, whose last good year was 2003-04 for the Magic. His scoring averages the past four years: 1.1, 0.7, 4.4, and 6.0.
    Riley is no idiot. The pressure to win is going to be huge, and it’s going to be hard to find a better fit for the money than Shaq and his 12 points, 7 boards per game. I think they’ll flirt with him for awhile, and eventually settle on Shaq as their starter, splitting minutes with one of the other two.

  3. Jared - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Yeah, he’s a nice fit in his prime. Without Shaq, Kobe would have not won those early titles. For as good as kobe was, Shaq was a monster and anytime you passed him the ball things opened up and he dominated. Centers are truly important pieces in the NBA, unfortunately not many good centers have come along that have dominated like Shaq has. With that said, however, Shaq is just not what they need. The heat are trying to totally change the game. They are pretty much going international style….why do you think international teams played so good against us and beat the USA in 2008 or whatever year it was…it was b/c internationally, they play as a team. They are a close knit group of guys and they had discipline. I think it’s just plain rude that people would criticize wade, bosh, and lebron for playing together and questioning their competitiveness. For me, the way we just NBA players has been wrong for a long time and people are hypocrites. Sorry but without pippen and some other pretty damn good role players, jordan would be nothing. Like i said before, no kobe without shaq and now kobe has gasol, odom, bynum, and clutch fisher. The lakers aren’t really that good but they play as a team and they are disciplined as anyone…the lakers really aren’t that much better than most teams b/c you never know what you’re gonna get out of a gasol, odom, etc. b/c they are soft. However, phil jackson has them so disciplined that they just get it done.
    Wade was just interviewed at a golf tourney and said the hard part is over and they are just looking for the correct pieces to fit. You just can’t throw anyone in there. Shaq might give you a couple good minutes, but besides that, i just don’t think he fits well with the team as a whole. I think the miami heat are going to end up being great if the take on the international approach of team unity. But unity isn’t enough. The cavs were a pretty close knit group b/c lebron instilled that in them…they were all friends, they all joked on the bench. Wade, james, and bosh are already great friends and i have no doubt that the team will be united. However, if they want to totally dominate, they need discipline and focus. They need to go out there and have fun, but also handle business. For how great lebron is (he took the worst group of players to the best record in the nba the last 2 years and almost a championship), i hope that he has a new drive in him to prove people wrong. I don’t like everything about jordan’s personality with his whole persona to hate other teams and other players, but boy did jordan attack and he wanted to just totally kill the other team. It’s the same with tiger woods, he was ok with getting a beer with the guys after a tourney or something but during that tourney he wanted to beat the crap out of you. So that’s what lebron and his other teammates need to do…laugh and fool around all you want after the game, but during the game, don’t go out to just beat teams; elevate all your games to the highest levels, make your teammates better, and just totally destroy the competition.

  4. mick the ripper - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    This will be the biggest mistake Miami could make by signing Shaq. Shaq demands the ball when he is on the floor in order to be effective, the only problem is there are much better scorers in the league now than him. He is going to bring horrible offensive spacing to this team and be a defensive liability. Shaq needs to play for a sub-prime team like the T-Wolves, Minnesota or Washington.

  5. jblakers42 - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    I’m so tired about the notion that KOBE didn’t win w/out SHAQ..that’s old and played out
    it ALWAYS take a team to win a title, no single great player has every won a championship by themselves, if that was the case, basketball would be a one man sport instead of five….it’s a very partial argument and it’s never made any sense
    I’m a laker fan to the core and when we won those 3 titles in 2000, 2001, and 2002, I never viewed it as one player winning it for us, it was A TEAM, it was FISHER, it was HORRY, it was FOX, it was RICE, it was AC GREEN, it was everyone making plays at some point
    remember game 6 of the 1992 nba finals, PORTLAND was killing CHICAGO in the 3rd quarter, built that 17 point lead…what did PHIL JACKSON do?…he took the starting five out the game, yes, that includes SCOTTIE PIPPEN and the greatest player in the game MICHAEL JORDAN, because nobody was playing well, so PHIL inserts his bench, and when I say his bench, I mean HIS BENCH, 11th man, 12th man, BOBBIE HANSEN, a guy who barely got any clock, facilitated the greatest comeback in finals history by hitting 2 straight 3 pointers to start the rally, it’s those type of instincts that make PHIL JACKSON the greatest coach of all time…
    so the SHAQ/KOBE debate is only for those who hate KOBE…..
    SHAQ will tell you any day of the week and said so during the 2001 playoff run that KOBE was the best player in the game, PERIOD
    GO LAKERS

  6. blesson - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    jblakers42… I believe your mistaken about 92 game 6, 4th qtr. It was pippen and 4 bench players leading that comeback (or at least most of it), not 5 bench players. Again, shows how critical Pip was as a 2nd banana, and how imprtant he was at running a TEAM offense, and not just eh typical Jordan iso-plays

  7. jblakers42 - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    blesson,
    if you watch MICHAEL JORDAN’S AIR TIME, it clearly showed that PHIL took JORDAN and SCOTTIE out the game for the beginning of that 4th quarter and didn’t reinsert the starting unit until the lead had been cut down to single digits….
    that’s why everyone in the arena thought the game was over because the entire starting unit was benched…

  8. blesson - Jul 14, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    I remember MJAT very well, haha, i used to have that movie memorized as I was obsessed with the bulls (one summer i watched it with my cuz 3x a day for over a month!!!))) Pip may have sat the beginning of the 4th, but from what I remember, the comeback didnt really start until pip came on the floor. Then jordan came in at the end and scored like 6-8 pts in the final minutes.

  9. jblakers42 - Jul 14, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    it’s all good blesson….lolll
    I’m just amped about my LAKERS winning back to backs w/essentially a 7 man rotation in the playoffs
    just think how much better they would be w/a healthy BYNUM and a more complete bench

  10. Aten - Jul 14, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    Shaq nailed Gloria before Delonte did.

  11. JDR - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Shaq is obviously old now and a shadow of his former self, but take an honest look at the numbers if you think he wasn’t “the man” during the Lakers’ run. Pull some old playoff box scores.
    I’m a numbers guy and the way I see it – then as now – is that Kobe is a proven winner, an exciting player, an all-time clutch scorer and when he has a hot hand he scores like no other. But he shoots just 40-45% and doesn’t stand out beyond his scoring. Just line up his stats next to some of the others he is supposedly as good as or better than (shooting percentage, rebounds, assists, turnovers, blocks, steals). Nothing stands out but his points, but it takes him a lot of shots to score those points and many of his misses are essentially turnovers.
    During his prime Shaq presented a huge match up problem for any team. Too bad he’s nearing 40.

  12. Salty - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Nobody is critisizing the three of them playing on the same team.They played together in the olympics and were great. What most of us are upset about is the spectacle they made of themselfs in the (DECISION) dog and poney show and the way that Lebron embarresed the NBA. I thought they were trying to look like wrestling.I was embarrased for the league.And David Stearn, you lost alot of respect from the fans for allowng this to happen without your knowledge.If Pat Riley is trying to build a respectable franchize, he did’nt get any from most of the NBA fans.

  13. in FLORIDA - Jul 14, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Riley got respect from who he cares about getting respect from… the Miami fans. Shaq won’t go back there, but it won’t be because of his decision, it’ll be because they don’t want him. Miami will be the western conference of the eastern conference. They’ll run like they do in the west, but defend like they do in the east. The donut hole is obviously at center, but the older players they got will be adequate enough, and will mentor Dexter Pittman enough to make him a beast in future years. They’re not done, but they’ve already shown they’ll be just fine… without Shaq… who can’t run the floor the way they’d need him to. Shaq is a non-factor in the NBA as of now. Only thing he can hope to do is coat-tail someone else to another title. It certainly won’t be any of his doing. He can’t even help close out games anymore, especially since his 52% free throw percentage has never improved.

  14. Super_X - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Its simple. If Miami wants to get past Howard and Orlando in the finals, they get Shaq. If they want to get past Boston with Perkins and Big Baby Davis, they get Shaq. If their going to beat LA with Bynam, Artest & Odem in the finals, they get Shaq. Its not about running the floor or even him scoring.. its his presence! Thats always been the key in getting Shaq and that will be the deciding factor when the Heat decide to get serious and sign him.

  15. Kenny - Jul 17, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    I think the way you have to look at this is to look at the ages of Wade, James and Bosh.
    They just signed long contracts. They are trying to build a Dynasty. If they were trying to win a championship next year then Shaq or Allen Iverson would make sense. But they’re not. They’re trying to win 3 or 4 championships over the next 5 years. Those players won’t be here for that.
    What they need are some great role players that have 5 good years left in them. The Heat need to find their own Robert Horry, Ron Harper, Derek Fisher, Steve Kerr, Bruce Bowen type of player. All the winning teams had them. They didn’t fill their rosters with aging stars. That rarely works and it’s not sustainable. Look at Alonzo Mourning on the Heat for the year they won. He was their 2nd best player but only played that year.
    They need a core that will be with them for the long haul. Shaq, Penny Hardaway, Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady ain’t it.

  16. hall of fame PG - Jul 28, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    i agree with super__x because look at the 09-10 nba quarter finals cavs vs bulls shaq got joakim noah and brad miller i think 2 fouls a piece in about one minute. shaq can draw fouls then just throw him out and bring in Z cuz he’s a good free throw shooter. his presense doesn’t demand a double team as much anymore but he can still draw fouls.once the opposing team is in the penalty wade,bron, and bosh can live off the line, thus giving them time to catch their breath since it’s pretty much them carrying the load.

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