In a nod to former coach Phil Jackson, new Cavaliers center Shaquille O'Neal has announced that he will be pulling back a little from the game he loves so much in order to spend more time with friends and family. But unlike Jackson, who is considering coaching only the Lakers' home games next season, Shaq has decided to play only on one side of the court.
"I've lived and loved this game for 29 years now," said the deep-voiced seven-footer at a hastily-called press conference. "Thirty-seven if you count the eight I spent with Kobe."
"But I just feel like it's time to think about my family a little bit and put them first."
Asked how playing only offense would help him spend more time with his family, O'Neal became noticeably agitated.
"First off, I never said anything about offense or defense, man. I'm not the coach."
But pressed once more on the details involved with his decision not to cross the time-line, the big man could only mumble something about "courtside seats" and "sharing nachos and hugs."
Surprisingly, when told of the failed rapper's announcement, new teammate LeBron James seemed perfectly okay with it.
"Oh well, that's just Shaq being Shaq, you know?" mused the star forward. "I mean, the guy hasn't played both sides of the floor in years, so why make an issue of it?"
"I'm used to playing five-on-one most nights, anyway."
As the press conference came to an end, O'Neal did offer up one last comment about next season.
"No matter how much of the court or how many minutes I play next season, I can promise you one thing. Whenever I get to Iowa or Illinois or whatever state Cleveland is in, I will play as hard as I ever have."
"Maybe even harder."