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Shaq says he got in Pat Riley’s face in Miami, too

Oct 31, 2011, 4:34 PM EDT

shaq-riley Getty Images

Excerpts from Shaquille O’Neal’s new book hit the Web and of course our eyes are drawn to the Hatfields and McCoys that is he and Kobe Bryant with the Lakers. A legendary feud.

But that’s not all that is there in the excerpts Deadspin published.

There is also this description of his confrontation with then Heat coach Pat Riley.

My ticket out of Miami was punched in mid-February 2008. There was a lot of tension between Pat and the players. So we’re about to start practice and Jason Williams comes in about ten seconds late. Pat being Pat, he starts swearing at him and screaming, “Get the hell out of here!”…

I tell Pat we’re a team and we need to stick together, not throw guys out of the gym. Pat is screaming at me and says if I don’t like it, then I should get the hell out of practice, too.

That’s when I said, “Why don’t you make me?”

I start taking a couple of steps towards Pat. Udonis Haslem steps in and I shove him out of the way. Then Zo tries to grab me. I threw him aside like he was a rag doll. Now it’s me and Riley face-to-face, jaw to jaw. I’m poking him in the chest and he keeps slapping my finger away and it’s getting nasty.

Noisy, too. He’s yelling “F— you!” and I’m yelling back, “No, f— you!”
Zo is trying to calm us both down and he has this kind of singsong panic in his voice. He keeps saying, “Big fella, no big fella, big fella!” I finally turn around and tell him, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to hit the man. Do you think I’m crazy?”

Whenever Shaq tells a story, it takes on sort of a mythical quality and it can be hard to tell where the truth ends and the myth starts. My guess is that Shaq did not throw Alonzo Mourning around like a rag doll. Zo’s a strong dude.

We suggest taking this story with a few grains of salt. That said. But it’s also not that hard to see something going down like that.

  1. thetooloftools - Oct 31, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    I wish Shaq would have knocked him the hell out. Riley & Wade are the reason there is a strike after they colluded to bring James and Bosh into Miami. What… those idiots trashed the team to free up cap space and then James and Bosh come on board and they thought all they were going to have to do was roll the ball out there and they would win every night?
    They thought they pulled a fast one.
    Anyone who thinks Dan Gilbert was going to just take that lying down and lick his wounds was sadly mistaken. You don’t mess with Dan Gilbert. He treated LeBron James like a God because he was his ca$h cow and it was the smart move. And LeBron did him. Welcome to pay back. The owners are not moving off a 50/50 BRI so the players better straighten up. Notice how some of the biggest name player reps are guys that “already got theirs”.
    By missing games they are only hurting other “non superstar/not big money players”, they are losing money those players WILL NEVER MAKE BACK !
    Yea.. Fisher and Garnett and Wade and James ect… can say that they are keeping the flame lit for the players and bla bla bla… but at the end of the day… they HAVE their $. Many of these players missing games have a limited NBA shelf life. Someone better wake up. It’s a new world now and the players brought this ALL ON THEMSELVES.
    Now the owners are saying “never again”.

    • southbeachtalent - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      completely rational thought…knock every one out.. Wade and Riley are the sole reason for the lockout…Nevermind all the other star studded teams this league has seen.. yep that’s rational.

      BTW if you haven’t figured it out, this “lockout” is about small market vs. bigger markets. The players are at the complete mercy of the owners. Eventually Gilbert and his boys will crack and still have a crappy team. It’s only a matter of time. Gilbert is looking like the petty, spoiled elitist he is.

      You said it yourself, Gilbert’s only “love” for LeBron was due to the revenue he brought in, not the person. Then he and the fan base expect LeBron to stay in Cleveland for more personal reasons?? So it’s OK for Gilbert to have a profitable franchise but LeBron must stay put, and sacrifice all? I’m sure the Cavs Franchise is worth far less now that LeBron is gone, that is the root of all the hate being directed from Gilbert. Then spins it and uses the Cavs fans’ emotional reaction as a way to lash out. He completely avoided any blame for the Cavs failure, as do most small market owners. It’s easier to blame the system. Especially when your fan base is buying into it.

  2. cosanostra71 - Oct 31, 2011 at 8:40 PM

    Shaq comes off as very immature in the excerpts I’ve read so far.

  3. granadosm - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Another prime example of Shaq being the arrogant, immature a hole he is. I understand sticking up for your teammate but to try and get in a coachs face and threaten him is low class and disrepectful. if you dont like Rileys proven ways then you should of never come to Miami. Theres a reason why Shaq burns bridges with every team he plays for and this is a prime example why. thanks for the championship down here in south florida but glad to see you go

  4. jimeejohnson - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:22 PM


  5. jimeejohnson - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:22 PM


  6. jimeejohnson - Oct 31, 2011 at 9:23 PM

    Meant to say Shaq: Charles Barkley Junior!

  7. southbeachtalent - Nov 1, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Shaq, the burner of bridges!! Biggest 5 year old in the world.

  8. genericcommenter - Nov 1, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    The best quotes so far are:
    Kobe wanted to “be the Will Smith of basketball.”
    and that Shaq “doesn’t put his name on any of the five guys that he owns.”

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