Shaq once had some strong words for opposing centers -- Vlade Divac to Jason Collins -- who preferred to take a dive rather than face him man-to-monster: "They're all the same. They all have their flop fraternity. A flopternity is what I call them. Flop, flop, flop." He also once complained that: "Bill Russell and Bill Walton would be ashamed to watch this game, big men flopping around."

So, d'you suppose the two Bills were ashamed to see this?

That, my friends, is a flop of Divacian proportions. And that fact wasn't lost on his former coach and current Magic head man Stan Van Gundy: "Note this: Shaq played for me and helped me win games, but I got to needle Shaq. He talks a lot about people flopping and he did it. When he came over to the sideline, I asked him how he can flop when he says, 'Let's play straight up and play like men.'"

I wonder what Shaq had to say to that?

Update! This is what Shaq had to say about that: "One thing I really despise is a frontrunner. I know for a fact he's a master of panic and when it gets time for his team to go into the postseason and do certain things, he will let them down because of his panic. I've been there before. I've played for him." ME-OW! Saucer of milk, table two, please!

Notice that instead of addressing the subject, Shaq simply resorted to blasting his critic on an unrelated subject. But once he was done laying waste to a good man's reputation, he did find a moment to address the flopping incident: "Flopping is playing like that your whole career. I was trying to take a charge, trying to get a call. Yeah, it probably was a flop, but flopping is wrong. Flopping would describe his coaching."

So to recap: After years of publically expressing vehement disgust for players who flop, Shaq commits an obvious and egregious flop against a guy he's gone out of his way to insult this year. Then, Van Gundy correctly calls him out for it, he defends himself by taking personal shots at Stan's ability to coach. Man, just when he wins you over for doing something super cool, he negates it by acting like a big baby. (Or even the Big Baby.)

Update again! Wow. The first source only provided a partial quote. What follows is the full version. And, uh, it shows that Shaq has officially gone postal over this flopping incident. I haven't seen this kind of needless wrath unleashed since Hollywood Hogan ran over the Rock (who was inside an ambulance) with a semi truck. Thanks to Brandon from BallerBlogger for sending the link.

"He (Howard) came with the same old, stale Patrick Ewing move so I tried to stand there and take the charge. The new rules say if you come through, you fall. But as I fell, I realized that it was a flop and it reminded me of Coach Van Gundy's whole coaching career. The one thing I despise is a frontrunner. First of all, none of his players like him. When it gets tough, he will become the master of panic like he did before and he will quit like he did before. The one thing I despise is frontrunners. Yeah, he’s got a young team playing good but don’t be a frontrunner. Him and his brother and even the legend on the bench ain't done what I've done in my whole career. So flopping would be the wrong choice of words."

"I just tried to take a charge. The (expletive) rules say you can’t stand there and get hit. You've got to fall. The (expletive) got the same old stinking move that Patrick Ewing has been doing his whole career. I went down, got up and didn’t complain. I see him and Stan complaining the whole game because they've got to. Remember, I've done more than him, his brother and Patrick Ewing."

"Stan Van Gundy reminds me of a broke navigational system. He knows everything about everything but ain't never been nowhere. Think about that. If I'm right here and I type in the address of where you're going, I know where it's at but I'm not going there."

"When a bum says some (stuff) about it and I respond, you can (expletive) cancel that cuz I know how he is in real life. We’ll see when the playoffs start and he (expletive) panics and quits like he did when he was here (in Miami). And you (expletive) print it just like that. Do I look soft to you like you can say something and I’m not going to say something?"

"Notice they didn't play me straight up. We'll see how far they go cuz I know Stan. I said this a long time ago but I was actually talking about him: 'When the general panics, the troops will panic. Like in business, when the head panics and takes out all his stock, what happens?"

"All the players hate him. The players don't even like him. I hate frontrunners. I really do. I don’t like any frontrunners. There’s a pecking order involved. I've been there six times."

"I ain't going to let no bum like him rip me and not say anything back. You can cancel that (expletive) all the way. Usually, I let (expletive) go. Not that. Not him. Hell no."

"The rules say when a guy goes through your chest you’ve got to fall to get the call. It was a flop. You’ve watched me play for 17 years. I don’t play like that."

"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."
Needless. Classless. Completely uncalled for. Shaq's reponse was like running somebody down with a monster truck because they bumped into you on the sidewalk. And the thing is, Shaq was the guy in the wrong here. He blatantly did something he's spent YEARS complaining about, but instead of just owing up to it, he had to get personal and go after not only Stan, but his brother Jeff and Patrick Ewing too. And, naturally, Shaq's last (and, to be honest, only) line of defense is that he's won more championships than the people he's laying waste to. Of course, his "He Who Has The Most Championships Is Always Right" rule didn't apply when he was giving Pat Riley the business last year or when he ripped into Phil Jackson.

Let's face it, this is Shaq's "Do As I Say, Not As I Do" world, and we're just living in it.

Another update! As Joe and Victor pointed out, this story took an amusing twist last night when Yao complained about a couple offensive fouls that went against him during the Rockets-Jazz game:

"Every time a defender player is on the ground, even if he just wants to sit down and have a rest, it's my offensive foul," Yao said. "That's unfair."

Yao took one more verbal jab at the Jazz, saying he was looking forward to Friday's game against Shaquille O'Neal and the Phoenix Suns.

"I guess I don't need to worry about (a) flopper next game. I don't think Shaq's that type of player," Yao said.
And isn't that ironic...don'tcha think?

Last update! At least, I think so. An anonymous commenter sent in the link to Stan Van Gundy's response to his Shaq-blasting: "Whatever. I don't know...that's his estimation of my coaching. I'm not going to worry about it too much. Actually, that [Shaq's criticism] puts me in good company, very good company. He's taken shots at Phil Jackson and Pat Riley, so maybe I should consider it an honor." And see, that's how Shaq should have responded to Van Gundy's comments, if he didn't like them. By saying "whatever" and making a joke. But The Big Little Girl is far to touchy and insecure for that. And if Shaq was as unquestionably great as we wants us all to believe, he would have shrugged off the whole flopping flap like he was swatting a gnat. Instead, he just added to his (still growing) legacy of boneheaded tantrums.

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Blogger DDC said...
Yeah, I saw that and was like "WHA"....He's been doing more of that lately as well. So the next time he complains about floppers, someone needs to show him this video.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Man, somebody call the Waambulance! Shaq must be the most insecure person alive to get that riled up over SVG giving him a gentle ribbing. Imagine the mind games Phil Jackson could play with such a fragile ego if the Lakers and Suns meet in the first round. Is it any wonder why Kobe and Penny had a hard time getting along with this guy?

Blogger chris said...
Did anyone else just see Nowitski pass it to nobody on the arc around 10:15 left in the 4th against the Spurs? Wow. :D

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Shaq has gone insane! He shouldn't have reacted that way. He really must be afraid right now, he's been doing this too much recently. I think he should be afraid right now about where he's going to be next.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wow, Shaq has gone insane! How he reacted is off the charts. He's been acting like this for some times now and been afraid and all I can say is he should be for I don't think he has much of a career left for him.

Blogger Victor said...
Yams, you summed that up very nicely.

Someone needs to publish something that says Shaq's whole career has been carried by Kobe and Wade and Nash just to see his reaction. Or maybe spread some steroid rumors. I wanna see Shaq go apeshit.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
lol, it took about 5 years, but the whole world is finally starting to see Shaq for who he is. Laker fans saw this in 2004..dude is a prima done/attention whore to the max.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Van Gundy is gonna have an even better response. The Big Grumpy will regret his outburst

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I don't know how many more updates to updates to updates you can do, but Yao Ming felt like the Jazz were flopping against him and in a beautiful twist of fate decided to compare them to . . . Shaq!

Said Yao, "I guess I don't need to worry about (a) flopper next game. I don't think Shaq's that type of player."


By the way, that's in the postgame recap.

Blogger Victor said...
Oh God this is good.

Here's Yao complaining about flopping during the Rockets/Jazz game:

“Every time a defender player is on the ground, even if he just wants to sit down and have a rest, it’s my offensive foul,” Yao said. “That’s unfair.”

And here's the kicker:

“I guess I don’t need to worry about (a) flopper next game. I don’t think Shaq’s that type of player,” Yao said.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Wow. This post reminded me that, didn't the NBA implement a flopping-fine last year? Have any been given out (is it a secret fine?), or have there been no flops this season yet? And wouldn't you love to see Shaq get fined for this flop? That'd go nice alongside his 4 championship rings.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I used to think Shaq was just a harmless oaf. Now with this and the "Rupaul" comment he seems like more of a gigantic superdick.

I still hate Kobe more tho...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Van Gundy said:
"Actually, that puts me in good company, very good company.

"He's taken shots at Phil Jackson and Pat Riley, so maybe I should consider it an honor."


Anonymous Anonymous said...
The most hypocritical part about this whole rant is that Shaq is the biggest frontrunner there is. When things were going great with the Lakers it was his team, and Phil Jackson was his second father. When he leaves the Lakers he blames everyone else, he trashes Phil, and of course was always trashing Kobe. He did the same thing when he left the Magic with Penny and Brian Hill, and when he left the Heat, he felt the need to pick on guys like Chris Quinn! And he trashed Pat Riley upon leaving Miami, after calling him the greatest coach he played for while with the Heat.

And if the Suns miss the playoffs this year, he'll do the same thing with Steve Nash and Terry Porter. Shaq is never to blame, but is the first to take all the credit for any success.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Imagine if Kobe had said something like this. People would be burning him in effigy.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Shaq must be the most insecure person alive..."


Shaq is like a sensitive (and hypocritical) little girl.

Plus he's an outright liar.

The reason you (should be prepared to) fall while a offensive player is barreling into you is so you can avoid getting your bones being smashed into multiple pieces.

An offensive foul isn't based on how far you fall backwards. That numbskull tried to get a part in the next David Mamet play.

As much as I love basketball let us not forget that the N.B.A. is an entertainment venue. This nonsense is almost as bad as the W.W.E.!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think Shaq is just dealing with the evident end of his career and dominance. It's clear that his trade ruined a fine-tuned machine in PHO, and if he's not an utter egomaniac he knows it.

But I'm going to strongly contest the Kobe apologia by Yams. Don't try to blame all that shit on Shaq. Just because he's now an insecure old guy in his twilight doesn't mean that you can extend his behavior NOW to his behavior years ago. Kobe was the psycho there, and it took him YEARS to learn to be something other than a selfish ball hog (and has he REALLY learned that lesson, when push comes to shove? I wonder. This year will be the test, but I think he's pass it).

Instead, let's remember how Shaq behaved after the breakup. He went to Miami and non-stop praised the local kid, giving him a nickname, building him up, saying that it was Wade's team and that Wade was the future. Those aren't the actions of an idiot or an egomaniac. Those are the actions of a mature player who understands what team chemistry is required to win. He was still Shaq, and that means a certain amount of smack talking, but he was cool. Frankly, Kobe has never been that cool during his career, and never will.

Or do you not believe Phil's tell-all book? Phil was lying? Playing the angles? What? Because HE laid it at Kobe's feet, and Phil had nothing to lose as he was headed out the door. All things being equal, I'll believe Phil.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm with shaq on this one, aside from the complaining, and van gundy attack. I mean, if shaq stays put he's liable to get called for a foul. The way the game is officiated, if an offensive player is throwing their body around you have to go down or you're likely to hurt your team. Stand up and take it and it'll go against you. That's how it works and unless the rule changes that's the way to play it. If he wasnt' playing against a 265+ lb big man throwing his weight around, that wouldn't have happened.

That said, Shaq annoys me to no end.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
I hoped you'd write about Shaq. I think he's suffering from a severe case of PMS, otherwise I can't explain why he's been lashing out at everyone lately.

Or maybe he just realized what we knew for years - that he's no longer dominant (maybe that's what motivated him to play so hard this season), that he got old so he got insecure about his own legacy. That's why he attacked Dwight repeatedly and kept talking about how great he (Shaq) was.

Funny thing - I called him "the big hypocrite" as well without reading the article you linked to. But I guess it was kinda obvious.

And check out the hypocrisy of talking about "Ewing's old, stale move" when he himself after 17 years in the league doesn't have one single move.

Oh, man. It's time to watch the 1995 finals again. I'll probably enjoy them even more now than I did at the time.

Blogger Trino said...
I think it's hilarious how Shaq, when going off on is simple-minded tirades, never ever actually addresses the actual criticism thrown his way. He basically resorts to the "I'm the greatest center of all-time, so shut up" defense. Is there a bigger baby (literally and figuratively) in the league right now?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Wormboy, some people are always gonna hate Kobe, no matter what. I don't know if you're one of those people or not, but you really should open your eyes and give Shaq his share of the credit for that rift with Kobe. Sure, Kobe has his share of the blame to shoulder, and I wasn't trying to put it all on Shaq, but Shaq definitely deserves at least half the blame for what happened between he and Kobe, IMO.

I think the root of the problem between those two was that Shaq didn't want to work that hard on his game after winning that first title and that Kobe didn't want to play second fiddle to a guy who wouldn't put in the effort. IMO if Shaq had just been a guy who put in the effort to get the most out of his game that he could, then Kobe would have acquiesced and willingly played the secondary role on that team. But instead Shaq routinely came into camp either out of shape or not at all (healing his toe injury on "company time", as Shaq put it), and for someone who worked as hard on his game as Kobe did, he just didn't want to take a backseat to such a lazy player.

In addition to that, the other reason I think that Shaq deserves more blame for the breakdown of things in LA is that Shaq did most of the talking in the media. For all the hype surrounding their rift, Kobe has only ever twice spoken publicly in a bad light about Shaq (in the winter of 2001 and before the season started in 2003), and both times were in direct response to things Shaq had said in the press about Kobe. Shaq, on the other hand, routinely ran his mouth to the press about Kobe for almost a decade, stretching long after they were no longer teammates. He did it so much, that I generally think most of the reason Kobe is as hated as he is is because of the long and relentless verbal attacks by Shaq in the press. Shaq is a very charismatic guy (or "cool" as you said), and used his personality to get the press on his side (reportedly he did the same thing with his Laker teammates). And since Kobe generally stayed out of the press with whatever issues he had with Shaq, it was mainly a one-sided feud, at least publicly.

You talk about how mature Shaq was after leaving the Lakers, but the reality is that while he was praising Wade, he was still trashing Kobe (and Phil and the fans of LA and the Lakers' owner, etc). Every time Shaq and Kobe would play each other, Kobe would go over and try to give him a tap or an embrace and Shaq would blow him off; but then Shaq was finally given credit for burying the hatchet when he decided to start accepting the olive branches Kobe had been offering him, saying that Bill Russell told him it was time to put that behind them (realize that the feud only officially ended once Shaq finally cooled on it - nobody seems to realize or admit that if Kobe had still wanted to continue the animosity he could have refused Shaq's handshake the way Shaq had been refusing his. Shaq was the one who kept that feud going).

Finally, while Kobe has clearly moved on, never having said anything negative about Shaq in the press in almost six years, Shaq was still trashing Kobe less than a year ago with that rap he did. Kobe doesn't go out of his way to praise Shaq the way Shaq has tried to do lately with Kobe, but really Kobe seems more honest for keeping mum, don't you think?

Look, I don't know either of the guys personally, and neither do you. They might both be the greatest guys ever, or they could be total assholes (my guess is the latter, in both cases). All I can go on is what they've done on the court and in the press; and while Kobe has certainly had more than his share of boneheaded moments on and off the court, I just don't think it's honest or fair to lay all (or even most of) the Shaq-Kobe feud at Kobe's feet. Quotes like this one about SVG or the similar stuff about Riley and the Heat last year I think show a more true side of Shaq than the gregarious jokester he prefers to show off to the press. I think you can see how he responds to criticism, and it's not a stretch to think he's probably always been that way (maybe worse). People don't generally get more petulant as they get older. After all, isn't wisdom supposed to come with age?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
LOL, thanks guy. Nice coverage

People do change, some got better, some got worse.