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Shaq attacks Kings Vlade Divac and basket - NBA NBA photo - Rocky Widner


Sports Notes Lakers SHAQ-ed Up-ed (set)

James Loving/National Radio Text Service


The Los Angeles Lakers Shaquille O'Neal did it again. The Shaq-Man got upset about a flagarent foul and became a Bull in Chicago's china closet...


Wednesday January 16, 2002


Shaq-Man get his dander up

The Los Angeles Lakers Shaquille O'Neal got his temper in an uproar about being flagrantly fouled. He then blew his stack. Listen up…lets get this straight….I LOVE THE SHAQ-MAN. Honest Injun…I really do. BUT HEY… Who would you rather have hit on you, BRITNEY Spears or SHAQ? I'll take Britney.

After watching the Shaq-Man get his dander up [Shaq-ed Up] and take a swing with that GIANT arm of his to try and SUCKER PUNCH the Chicago Bulls poor little center Brad Miller, Shaq can keep his hands to himself….THANK YOU!

It was like looking at someone swinging two GIANT two by fours strapped together at someone's skull. If Shaq had connected, Miller [if he survived] would be looking for some spare body parts. The NBA fined O'Neal fifteen thousand US dollars ($) and suspended him for three games that would cost him around eighty thousand dollars in salary. Now that's a lot of Big Macs and fries.

Miller and teammate Charles Oakley flagrantly fouled O'Neal with 2:44 left in the fourth quarter in the Bulls 106-104 victory over the Lakers in Chicago Saturday. Oakley ripped O'Neal's head off but Shaq went after Miller [AND NOT OAKLEY]. After a monstrous swing with his giant arm O'Neal then jumped on Miller and took him to the ground. Benches emptied and it [the fight] was on.

"I was just glad we picked up Oakley over the summer because I knew if I got into something he'd have my back. He saved me from a shattered jaw at least," CNNSI reported Miller as saying.

If you're an O'Neal fan you could consider Oakley's arm wrap around O'Neal's head a… well ah… a mugging… ahh…if you will.

"For a guy that didn't get a punch connected, I never saw a punch landed, it was pretty extreme," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of O'Neal's NBA fine. "[But] we're not going to complain. I think we'll accept this and say it's fair."

You have to wonder where Jackson's mind is. If O'Neal had connected with Millers skull, Miller would have to get a new one IF HE WERE STILL ALIVE.

Think about it… O'Neal is seven feet of MUSCLE and 340 pounds. If he hits you with his humongous arm its like…its like ahhh….ATTEMPTED MURDER.

What in the world is [my main man] "Action -The Zen Man" Jackson thinking about? Would he like to take a clobbering from O'Neal's SUPERMAN arms? I don't think so.

Hey…O'Neal calls himself Superman not me. Anyway…I'd rather have Britney hit on me - and that's a fact. With the actions of O'Neal and the thoughts of Jackson it begs the question - What is in that Laker water?

Those of us who have experience should not forget the devastating blow by then Laker Kermit Washington put on then Houston Rockets player and now coach Rudy Tomjanovich. Tomjanovich was out for weeks and the brilliance of his playing career was severely negatively impacted. He was never the same player.

The Shaq-Man has to learn how to chill before he causes a severe career threatening injury to an NBA player. If he loses his cool in a fit of rage he is big enough to KILL somebody with his humongous body.

This incident was reminiscent of when O'Neal clobbered an elderly Charles Barkley a few years ago. Again O'Neal was annoyed that he was being fouled. Ironically, O'Neal left college early for the NBA because he felt his was being fouled too much. Obviously what he thought he was leaving behind remains with him.

There should be some middle ground here. O'Neal has been permitted in the past to pretty much do what he wants. He's been permitted to throw elbows and push his oversized butt up against his opponents as he backs them down for a two-foot shot. He's been getting away with too much of initiating contact as he did in the NBA Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers last season [see: Lakers Bludgeon 76ers].

The head swipe that O'Neal took from Oakley is the way they used to play in the NBA.

I'll never forget when former NBA star Bob Pettit smashed then Philadelphia Warriors center Neil Johnson in the nose. The sound was so loud I could hear it in the second level at the basket end of the court at Philadelphia's Convention Hall.

That was brutal, not like the foul O'Neal took from Oakley. Pettit wasn't a ghetto gang-banger. He later became a United States Senator from the US state of Louisiana.

O'Neal shouldn't be pounded on just because he may the biggest player in the NBA but… he needs to learn how to take hits and rough play. Real basketball involves rough play. A comment by Oakley on ESPN stating that if O'Neal can't take physical play then Shaq should get out of the league.

The new NBA seems to be appealing to the MTV generation. That's good for marketing…not for the game. The NBA doesn't want their marquee players hurt and there's nothing wrong in that. That raises another question…who are the Lakers more concerned about Miller and his head or... well…ahhh…?

"As an organization, we don't condone that type of activity," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said of O'Neal's behavior. "He could get injured; he could injure someone else."

The magnitude of O'Neal's attacks will play out with future NBA rules. When it comes to bending the rules to accommodate a marquee franchise or player O'Neal and the Lakers have benefited in the past.

O'Neal is a good guy and a loveable person. He is not one to intentionally hurt someone in a premeditated manner. His actions are retaliatory. Learning how to control his temper and take some physical play without complaining could help alleviate the problem. O'Neal has been permitted to dish out physical blows. An even playing field is needed and not a double standard.

Question: Why didn't Shaq go after Oakley?

BRITNEY SPEARS will headline the NBA All-Star Read To Achieve Celebration, a one-of-a-kind television special featuring NBA All-Stars and some of today's hottest entertainment celebrities, to air on Saturday, February 9th at 11 AM ET. The hour-long show will be simulcast on six different networks - NBC, TNT, BET, Nickelodeon, NBA.com TV in the U.S., and MuchMusic in Canada.

Spears will perform "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman," from her new multi-platinum album, "Britney," and featured in her major motion picture debut, "Crossroads," which opens nationwide February 15, 2002.

Read to Achieve is a year-round, league-wide initiative supported by all 29 NBA teams, 16 WNBA teams, and eight National Basketball Development League teams that promotes the value of reading and on-line literacy and encourages families and adults to read regularly with young children.

Spears will also be a member of the NBA All-Star Reading Team, which is a team made up of NBA and WNBA players, coaches, celebrities from the worlds of film and music, and the parents, spouses and families of NBA players and coaches.

Shaq!!!…Leave her alone.


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