October 15, 2008
As anyone who has ever been around a New York nightclub can attest, Suns center — legend, sheriff, rapper, etc. — Shaquille O'Neal tends to shoot from the hip/lip when he gets in front of a microphone. He's like Charles Barkley, but with a deeper voice and rhythm.
Well, Sports 620 KTAR had a mic at Suns practice Tuesday, so, naturally, The Big Outspoken did what he does best: talk. The money quote came when he was asked about the Suns' first-round loss to the Spurs in last year's playoffs. O'Neal said he didn't mind that "Hack-a-Shaq" strategy wasn't changed in the rules during the offseason, but that there is no need to do it when a team is up 10 points. Shaq, via FanHouse:
"When you're down, I can see using that as a strategy. But when you're up 10, 15 points, there's really no need for that. That's a coward move. And he knows that. I'll make 'em pay for that."
You hear that, Gregg Popovich? You're a coward! A coward hiding behind a beard!
And the fun/embarrassment didn't stop there. Later in the media scrum — earmuffs, Nash and Raja! — Shaq asks how he's supposed to stay in front Tony Parker and company if the Phoenix guards can't, and then notes a blown defensive rotation on Tim Duncan's [fudge'n] three in Game 1. He also takes credit for James Posey and Jason Kapono's fat free agent contracts.