Shaquille O'Neal is creating controversy in his first official broadcast in his new career? Who would have thought?
In case you missed it, Shaq made his debut as an NBA analyst on NBA TV Tuesday. He touched on a number of topics on the night the NBA debuted the 2011-12 regular season schedule (if there ends up being a season), and the most controversial of all had to do with the trio, or duo, in South Beach.
The now former NBA big man had kind words for former teammate Dwayne Wade and still championship-less Lebron James. He stated that he expects them to be contenders again next season.
"Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, you know, they're great players, they're probably the greatest back court ever assembled," O'Neal said. "And you know, they're going to get back. They're going to get back. They play well, they went through a lot, they put a lot of pressure on themselves. That's how they like it. And they will be back."
It was what the big man said just prior that has everyone talking though. O’Neal stated that the “Heat have a lot of great players” and “The Big 2,” a clear shot at Heat forward Chris Bosh. The trio have been known as the “The Big 3” since the arrival of James and Bosh in Miami.
Does Chris Bosh deserve to be a member of "The Big 3?"
Shaquille O’Neal is known for his attention-seeking mentality as he has racked up his fair share of memorable call outs and famous quotes over the years. In 2002, he called the Sacramento Kings the Sacramento Queens in an attempt to spice up an already heated rivalry between the two California teams (even though he stated he didn’t want to go back and forth with them all season). In 2009, Shaq called his former coach Stan Van Gundy the “master of panic,” referring to his inability to win in the playoffs.
This call-out of Chris Bosh should come as no surprise to those who have followed Shaq’s career. His microphone antics are often very entertaining and, in fact, often true. This quote happens to be no different.
Sure, Bosh was solid in the playoffs and had a decent season, but the truth is that this is D Wade and Lebron’s team. Bosh cannot be said in the same sentence as Wade and James with regards to talent, popularity and overall importance to their team. One must only look at Toronto’s lack of success when he was their lead man to see that he is not a superstar in the NBA. In a league full of tough physical beasts, Bosh simply is too soft to take the step to super-stardom, especially when overshadowed by “probably the greatest back court ever assembled.”
This is just the beginning for what should be an entertaining and hilarious run for Shaquille O’Neal as the Big Correspondent. One word comes to mind when thinking of Shaq, EJ, Kenny Smith, and, of course, Sir Charles Barkley this coming NBA season: Glorious.