Shaquille O’Neal is already creating waves and in his new career as an NBA analyst.
During NBA TV’s broadcast of the releasing of the 2011-12 season schedule Tuesday, O’Neal made reference to the Miami Heat as the Big 2. Can we say Big Disrespect?
He praised LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as perhaps the best backcourt players of all time. O’Neal omitted Heat center Chris Bosh, who has been recognized as the third piece of the Big 3 that came together in South Beach last summer.
But O’Neal, who had teamed with both Wade and James during his playing career, apparently doesn’t seem to think Bosh is that significant to the Heat getting back to the NBA finals and winning it all.
The Big 3 certainly was a disappointment in its first season after being putting together last summer for the purpose of winning multiple NBA titles. Instead, you had three NBA superstars who all seemed afraid of stepping on each other’s toes and not always understanding their roles, which manifested during the Heat’s NBA finals collapse last month.
"The Miami Heat, they've got a lot of great players, the `Big 2.' They will be back," O'Neal said from Louisiana during the broadcast, when discussing the NBA finals and how Dallas was able to beat Miami for the title. "LeBron James is taking a lot of criticism, but I know LeBron very well. He hears everything that everyone is saying, so I think he's going to come back and have an MVP year this year."
Reporters quickly picked up on the snub and asked O’Neal to clarify. Interestingly when O’Neal had the chance to correct himself, he did not. It should be noted there could be some jealousy there because when the Heat had a chance to add O’Neal back to the equation last summer they chose not to.
"Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, you know, they're great players, they're probably the greatest backcourt ever assembled," said O'Neal, who won an NBA title with Wade as members of the Heat in 2006. "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."
(Photo: AP Photo/John Raoux, File)