Before getting to the bevy of links regarding the feud between Shaquille O'Neal and Stan Van Gundy, we'll post this link, which actually relates to the Orlando Magic. Shocking, I know.
Despite having started the Magic's last 7 games, Courtney Lee hasn't locked down the starting shooting-guard job for the playoffs. Mickael Pietrus is still in the running, says Van Gundy:
"I really don't know," Van Gundy said when asked about the two-guard job. "MP has the size and athleticism at the 2-spot. We need to be bigger there some nights. He has to get back to being healthy.
"He has been in and out of the lineup and it's disruptive. We'll see where he's at before we make a decision."
Pietrus played well early in the year, but hasn't been the same since he fractured his wrist against Detroit. Lee's played well the entire season, and I'm all in favor of his starting at shooting guard the rest of the season. Seriously, Lee's doing all the things the Magic signed Pietrus to do, namely:
and hit three-pointers.
Also, he's three years younger and he knows his limitations as a player. Is it obvious that MP is in my doghouse right now?
As promised, more on the feud between O'Neal and Van Gundy, of which I have already grown tired, will follow the jump.
Chris Duncan of the Associated Press reports that Shaq has fired another salvo at Van Gundy:
Don't play with me," O'Neal said. "Seriously, don't play with me. Like I said earlier, I don't like frontrunners. I think he used the wrong choice of words. Flopping means that, hey, Shaq does that all the time. The rules say, you take it in the middle, you've got to fall back. And that's what I did."
Later in the same AP piece, Shaq explains what a flop means to him:
"Flopping has become a big concern, but I just take it as a sign of ultimate respect," O'Neal said. "(A player thinks), I can't guard you. I'm just going to fall down and cry to the refs.' Most of the time, the ref believes it."
So I guess when Shaq flopped while trying to guard Dwight Howard, he was just being respectful...? How kind of him.
Perhaps nobody in the blogosphere parses words quite like Bethlehem Shoals, who has a special All-Shaq version of his Quotemonger feature at SLAM:
Some general indignation about SVG's comments:
"I'm not going to sit around and let nobodies take a shot at me and he is a nobody to me. And if he thinks he can get in a little press conference and take shots at me like I'm not going to (say) something back, he's got another thing coming."
Translation: Because there's no way I'm not having a press conference twice as long, with ten times as many money lines, that escalates this into something between a feud and a chance to show I can still lead SportsCenter just by opening my mouth.
Jerry Greene asked Magic GM Otis Smith for his thoughts on the feud between O'Neal and Van Gundy. Here's how Otis responded:
"Reality TV," he said, slowing to a chuckle. "That's what it sounds like to me. And if Shaq is involved, you know it's reality TV with a lot of promotion involved, too."