Shaquille O'Neal's new book, "Shaq Uncut," co-written with Jackie MacMullan, hasn't even been released yet, but some juicy tidbits have. Shaq has re-ignited the Kobe feud and spilled some critical beans on the relationship between LeBron James and his former Cleveland Cavalier coach Mike Brown. And even though his time here in Boston was almost as quick as a light breeze, he's causing some gale forced winds with some green secrets.
Julian Benbow, the talented Celtics beat writer for the Boston Globe, posted some bombs that Shaq dropped during his time here. He goes after Nate Robinson (easy target and probably true although I doubt Ainge took Shaq's advice so easily), recalls the questionable Rondo/KG/Obama story (Shaq has a superpower of reading KG's eyes) but mostly eviscerates Glen Davis. He went as far as wanting to punch him in the face during a couple of incidents from games at Los Angeles (Lakers) and at Sacramento. Here is where I question Shaq a bit.
Here's the blurb about the LA game:
“Big Baby” Davis kept looking me off and taking it himself. Doc is shouting at him to go inside, but he won’t. So Doc calls timeout and draws up a play for me. I go out there, and I back Andrew Bynum way under the rim. I’m loose, I’m ready. I’ve got Bynum under the basket and again, Baby won’t give me the ball. So I go up to him and say, “If you ever miss me again I’m going to punch you in the face.” I was hot.
Going by the official game log, Shaq and Davis shared the floor in the second quarter only, from the 6:28-4:43 mark. Reviewing that video, there was one possible play that this possibly could have happened. It was around the 5:28 mark, Davis has the ball for about 1-2 seconds, looks in to Shaq who has his arms hooked with Andrew Bynum, then passes it to Ray Allen. You can hear Phil Jackson shouting "ANDREW, ANDREW, ANDREW" but if you look at Doc, he's not saying anything and is just sitting there watching the play. Maybe Shaq confused his ex-coach with his then current coach. He could have lobbed it in sure, but Shaq didn't completely have Bynum sealed off. Not as obvious as Shaq makes it seem.
In the next offensive play, Rondo drives to the hoop trying for a lay-up and a foul and gets neither. The first offensive play that Shaq/Davis shared the floor, Pierce took Luke Walton to the hole and got fouled. After that Rondo drive, KG returned with that huge bandage on his head and replaced Davis. Shaq and Davis did not share court time the rest of the game.
Here is the full sequence of shared court time captured by ABC:
The tidbit from the Kings game is as follows:
Two nights later we’re playing in Sacramento and here we go again. I take three shots the entire game and again I’ve got my man isolated underneath the basket, and Baby ignores me and takes a jump shot. So the next time we’re in the huddle I let Baby have it.
I tell him, “Pass the [expletive] ball inside.” He comes back at me a little bit and now I’m really heated. All hell is breaking loose. We’re going back and forth. Doc is standing there and he’s not saying a word. The message is pretty clear: Work this out yourselves. I tell Baby, “You’re a selfish player. Everyone on this team knows it.” Hey, all the fans knew it. He takes shots when he shouldn’t.
In this game, they logged 5 minutes and 6 seconds of court time together, all in the second quarter (9:37-4:31). Again, going by the game log, Glen Davis attempted one field goal, which he made. Here are the other offensive possessions:
- 9:18 Von Wafer misses two point shot
- 8:47 Nate Robinson makes driving layup
- 8:11 Shaquille O'Neal lost ball (Samuel Dalembert steals)
- 8:03 Nate Robinson offensive charge (Pooh Jeter draws the foul)
- 8:03 Nate Robinson turnover
- 7:16 Paul Pierce misses jumper
- 6:48 Glen Davis makes 4-foot jumper (Nate Robinson assists)
- 6:11 Shaquille O'Neal 3 second
- 6:11 Kevin Garnett enters the game for Glen Davis
Going by the video, on the first play, Shaq passes out of the post to Von Wafer who drives to the hoop looking for a shot at the rim and/or a foul. On the next offensive play, Nate drives baseline for two. The next offensive play is interesting. Davis attempts to take his man in the post, but makes a clean bounce pass to Shaq who can't make the clean catch and proceeds to turn it over. So, Davis actually did pass it to him here. The next offensive play is a 2-on-1 transition play with Marquis Daniels and Nate, as Nate gets called for a charge.
Next, there is a timeout and unless the heated exchange happened during the commercial break on CSNNE, there is no video evidence of Shaq and Davis even looking at each other. Greg Dickerson gives a report on what was said by Doc during the timeout, only citing a "lack of ball movement" with the second unit in comparison to the starters.
On the next play, Daivs touches the ball for about a second, but it's obvious his intent is not for Shaq by design. Instead, Pierce takes a fade-away in the lane. The next play is a clean screen-and-roll with Nate, and Davis has a clear lay-up that he converts, so no need to pass. The next play is another 2-man game with Nate and Davis that breaks down. Wafer drives to the basket and passes to Shaq who gets whistled for a 3-second violation. After that, KG checks in and the two never share court time again. This would also be the final game Shaq actually played meaningful minutes ALL SEASON so it's interesting he'd choose this game.
Also, it's worth noting that Shaq did not look great for much of this game, especially on offense. He bobbled the ball on the first play of the game, then Samuel Dalembert blocks a weak lay-up attempt after bobbling a post-entry pass by Pierce (almost the exact same pass his was angry at Davis with during the LA game for NOT passing it to him). If you take a look at the play below, it's similar to the play in LA, except this time Pierce passes the ball to Shaq (same pass that he was angry with Davis for NOT making) and doesn't do much with it: