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Shaq says Howard leaving Orlando would be “travesty”

Feb 15, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT

Shaquille O'Neal laughs as he announces his retirement from NBA at a news conference in Windermere Reuters

“We haven’t had any irony here since about, uh, ’83, when I was the only practitioner of it. And I stopped because I was tired of being stared at.”
—Steve Martin in Roxanne

Shaquille O’Neal digs irony. Can you dig it?

In a press conference with other TNT broadcasters on Tuesday, Shaquille O’Neal said Dwight Howard leaving Orlando would be a “travesty.”

Shaq explained that this is totally different than when he screwed over Orlando and left as a player because he left when the Lakers could (and did) offer more money. But now Orlando can offer more than any other team (one more guaranteed year and larger raises between years for a total of about $30 million) so why would Howard want to leave money on the table?

“I think they have to be a little bit worried that he hasn’t committed to signing, so there may be an underlying problem of what’s really going on,” Shaq said. “I don’t know if he doesn’t like the organization, I don’t know if he wants to go to a bigger city where he can get more endorsement deals, he can do movies. No one really knows the problem.”

There’s one other question Shaq left out: Can he win a ring in Orlando. Shaq left to get his… but this is totally different.

  1. ogre2010 - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Being a Magic Fan, how can Shaq criticize Howard?

  2. ogre2010 - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Being a Magic Fan, how can Shaq criticize Howard?

    • deadeyedesign23 - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      Being a Net fan, Shaq telling Dwight not to do something I want him to do is music to my ears.

      • ivro89 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        Nets fan, huh? Didn’t realize they were still making you guys. How nice…

      • deadeyedesign23 - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        They stopped production around 2003, but once they’re in Brooklyn I’m sure you’ll see more of them. Everything old is new…

  3. kso1234 - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    The Magic were successful when Shaq was there, he left a contending team. Shaq chose a bigger stage in LA, which is more likely what this is about. Winning can happen anywhere. The Magic have been contenders with Dwight, but just like Shaq, he needs more “help”. Which is code for: I’m not really talented enough to carry a team.

  4. turnmymicup - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    If Howard leaves ORL it will be a catastrophe. He is the backbone of the magic. Without him ORL crumbles and starts the rebuilding process. Otis smith needs to offer him a contract no one can match and get him some help! That’s all Dwight wants is to be able to compete in the postseason. We all know what happens to this roster everytime playoffs come around. Train wreck.

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Shaq is a clown and has been for decades. Never liked the guy. I’ve always thought that behind that “fun loving” exterior there is a passive aggressive dick face.

  6. troy10 - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    wow… such insight. It’s amazing seeing how you just laid it out so simply, that Otis Smith hasn’t thought of this exact plan himself. It’s brilliant really.. offer him a contract at MAX value… who would have thought.

  7. stadix093 - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    This is like Kobe telling Westbrook he shoots too much. I am a Lakers fan, so I can say that.

  8. tampajoey - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Dwight Howard is gone and there is nothing the Magic can do to keep him. End of story.

    The Magic should sell him off to the highest bidder and do what’s best for the Magic. Where Howard “wants” to go should be irrelevant to the Magic.

    • philtration - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Yes, the Magic can trade him but the new team HAS to have him signed to a new contract.
      How many teams do you think are going to give up a kings ransom to get Howard only for him to walk away and sign some place else after the end of the season?

      They can wait it out and try to sign him while giving up nothing in return if that is the case.

      • tampajoey - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        Exactly why the NBA needs a “Franchise Tag” like the NFL has. The player gets paid his fair market value and it eliminates the players ability to screw over the franchise by holding them hostage.

        The NBA isn’t a YMCA pickup game!

    • troy10 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      You’re right.. that’s how it should be. But the problem is, no team is going to trade for him and give up significant assets if they can’t sign him to an extension. If he tells a team he won’t sign an extension with them, they won’t bother trading for him.
      So yes.. I agree with you that the Magic should just trade him to anyone, not necessarily someone on his “list”, but if teams aren’t on his “list”, they won’t want to trade with Olando. So.. it comes right back to where he has all the power. So, the lockout did nothing to help teams “control” their own players like the owners were supposedly fighting for. Which again.. if this is what is going to happen for now on, that’s fine. Just don’t sugar coat it… contract the league and just keep all the big market teams that all the players seem to want to play for. Just go down to like 10-12 teams.

  9. glink123 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Hilarious article. Spot on, KH.

  10. gmsalpha - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Of course Shaq doesn’t want Howard to leave Orlando. He knows there’s no way Dwight will win any rings there, thus securing O’Neal’s “legacy”. It’ll scare Shaq out of his size 23 boots if Howard signs with a contender (Dallas, Chicago).

  11. dirtydavis - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Big Show > Shaq

  12. thegonz13 - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Shaq, you are quite the hypocrit. Casting stones at Howard for something he was the first to do.

    Talk about being full of crap!

  13. chalkruz1989 - Feb 15, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    What Shaquille O’ Neal did is completely different. Shaq went to a bigger market but revitalized that whole franchise. Kobe Bryant then is drafted and viola, rings galore. Dwight Howard isn’t even close to Shaq’s shadow. Howard wants to go join a superstar because he’s well aware he can’t win it as the driving force. And consider the fact that there is a void of big men in the NBA, it’s a knock on Dwight.

  14. jagwar73 - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Don’t kid yourself chalkcruz, Shaq couldn’t have won those rings without Wade or Kobe, or clutch role players for that matter. Dwight needs a closer because neither of them are or were.


  15. dixx8ball - Feb 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    If Shaq didn’t leave Orlando and head to LA we would have never been blessed with great movie Kazaam…. ahahahahaahaha

  16. qdog112 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    The truth is, Orlando screwed themselves when they low-balled Shaq with their offer. Another truth is, that gave the Shaq the out, because he wanted to leave anyway. Remember, he wanted to do movies – SHAZAAM !!! That said, this is a subject he should have remained silent on.

  17. jimsjam33 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Dwight Howard wants to come to LA because of Hollywood , celebrities , and endorsement deals . The Lakers were his first choice , but the Lakers wouldn’t give up Bynum and Gasol ( for reasons unknown ) and that left the Magic in a quandry . Howard will be dealt with before the trade deadline coming up shortly after the All-Star game. No deal has been made because Orlando is hosting the game and they want their super star there , but after the game Dwight Howard is going to LA to put on a Clippers uniform . No , Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are not leaving . Here is the package : DeAndre Jones ( under a 5 year 40 million contract ) Caron Butler ( 3 yrs. 24 million ) Randy Foye and the Clippers 2012-13 seasons number 1 draft choices . The deal will be announced after the All-Star game .
    Doesn’t sound like value for valve , but Orlando has no choice other than to trade because if they don’t Howard walks and the Magic get nothing . He must agree to a 2012-13 extention though or the deal is off . You heard it here first. Put it in your pipe and smoke it !

  18. jimsjam33 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Oh yes , PS

    Howard comes to the Clippers because this team can make a run to the finals this year with him on board . As long as CP 3 and Blake Griffin are under contract , Dwight Howard and the Clippers will be the World Champions for quite a while . Chicago and Brooklyn can’t offer him all the bright lights , riches , celebrity , babes that LA can . done deal ! He will sign a 60 Million – two year extention . By the end of that contract he has three rings in a Clipper three-peat !

  19. mikeewright7 - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ REALLY???? like idek where to start with this BS post, lol but really^^^^^^ ….dude how stupid could you be to even take the time out your busy day to write that bull? first off
    1#;60 million for 2 years? nope
    2# the trade for butler and jordan? hell no
    3# 3peat? i think OKC,Bulls,Heat will have something to say bout that
    4#D.Howard is annoying and his offense game sucks, thats why LA not giving up Pau because Pau is a better OFFENSE player
    5# did you not see the Melo trade? giving up quality players for stars?

    Coming from a Celtics fan,
    I wish he would come to Boston but then ill sound as dumb as you lol But hey we can all dream
    but keep your spirit cause if it did work you called it first lol

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  20. goforthanddie - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    The Big Hypocrite.

  21. losangelasbasketball - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Do you think dwight wants shaqs career?
    Three things hes missing in orlando:
    1. Big market
    2. 6 ringed coach
    3. Black mamba

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