During this crazy NBA summer of 2010, teams were scrambling to improve and change themselves at a exponential rate. It was as if the NBA landscape was settling itself much of the same way that the old west was settled back in the day. One of the more polarizing and most recognizable living legends was even having difficultly landing a contract that paid higher than the veteran's minimum. Shaquille O'Neal certainly could have received more than that, right? He played pretty well last season (especially in the playoffs), all things considered, right? Well maybe the GM's of many NBA teams knew about what radaronline.com is reporting today:
NBA star Shaquille O'Neal is at the center of an explosive new lawsuit accusing him of computer hacking, destroying evidence and indicating that he attempted to frame an employee by planting child pornography on his computer, RadarOnline.com is reporting exclusively.
Shaq's former employee Shawn Darling filed the suit for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and civil R.I.C.O. (a racketeering charge) on August 3, in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Here are some of the explosive allegations:
- Shaq hacked into the voicemails and phone systems of Darling and Vanessa Lopez, a mistress who is currently suing O'Neal. He deleted Lopez's messages and changed her password.
- O'Neal used his law enforcement contacts, both active and retired, to obtain restricted information about one of his mistresses, Alexis Miller, while he was involved in a legal battle with her.
- Shaq threw a personal computer holding much of this evidence in the lake behind his home.
- Shaq conspired with active law enforcement as well as ex-members of law enforcement to frame Darling for a criminal offense and destroy any evidence that Darling might have against O'Neal.
Let me play the role of Captain Obvious here: If this is true, this is umm, not great for Shaq. This is literally something straight out of a CSI: Orlando episode. Hacking voicemails? Deleting texts? Changing passwords? Oh and my personal favorite cover-up tactic: toss the old PC into the lake BEHIND YOUR OWN HOUSE! Apparently Shaq was either practicing for his next episode of Shaq vs. in anticipation of challenging Hugh Jackman as best hacker. Except Jackman's character was from the movie Swordfish, this is reality… supposedly.
Many hoop pundits and fans openly, and rightfully questioned if Shaq's larger than life personality and ego would wreak havoc in the Celtics locker room, thus disrupting their ubuntu team unity. While this isn't a locker room on even on the court incident, it could be a distraction if reporters are questioning him (as well as everyone else) about it routinely.
Can Doc Rivers, Danny Ainge and the front office keep this seemingly big distraction at bay? Who knows, but one thing is certain: This season is getting crazier, wackier, more bizarre and even more anticipated than any other in recent memory. Let's hope Shaq resolves this issue without much fanfare, because this is clearly something the Celtics don't need to be dealing with.