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LakerRaider 06-05-2006 06:19 PM

Los Angeles Fans Are Not That Thrilled About Shaquille O'Neal & Pat Riley
 
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...6/05/hot.read/


They know their enemies


L.A. fans not happy to see Shaq, Riley in NBA Finals


By: Arash Markazi


Posted: Monday June 5, 2006 4:04PM; Updated: Monday June 5, 2006 5:14PM




Watching Shaquille O'Neal hug Pat Riley and tap Gary Payton on the head after defeating the Detroit Pistons to advance to the NBA Finals last week, my little brother posed an interesting question to me: "Are you happy?"

There was no simple answer to his straightforward query. I mean, how would you answer that question if your girlfriend of eight years left you and was all of a sudden marrying some dude down in South Beach? Am I supposed to be happy? I guess. I mean, we're no longer together, so why shouldn't she be happy with her Enrique Iglesias lookalike? But you know it's never that easy. It's only human to hope that she'll be miserable down there in her million-dollar villa and start wishing she'd never left my studio apartment in West Hollywood.

That's sort of the relationship most Lakers fans have with the "Los Angeles Heat" these days, and it's what makes this year's NBA Finals so confusing. On one hand you want to be happy for Shaq, Riles and GP, but on the other you can't forget how each one left. Riley abruptly stepping down in 1990 after some reported anger issues, Payton openly fighting with Phil Jackson before refusing to report to the Celtics after being traded, costing the Lakers Marcus Banks and a second-round pick, and of course, O'Neal, who's had his fair share to say about his former home after being traded to the Heat two years ago.

O'Neal is really the biggest quandary in this situation. Riley will always be adored by Lakers fans no matter how he left, and Payton was only in Los Angeles for one season and will be remembered as much for his time with the Lakers as he was for his stints in Boston and Milwaukee. Shaq, however, is a different story.

There will come a time when "the Diesel" will get his number retired alongside West, Baylor, Wilt, Goodrich, Magic, Worthy and Kareem at Staples Center, and every Lakers fan will give him a standing ovation, but it doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon. Most still can't seem to forget Shaq's comments after being traded, when he called Los Angeles a "real, real fake place," unlike Miami, which is "a more real place"; called Lakers owner Jerry Buss a joke and an "old man"; and called Kobe Bryant "the other guy" and an "arrogant" player who he wanted to hit at times.

There's no doubt that O'Neal has cooled down since those remarks. He still does a great deal of charity work in Los Angeles, hasn't closed the door on mending his relationship with Buss and shockingly embraced Bryant, not once but twice, before their last meeting at Staples Center. But still, if you're a Lakers fan, can you root for Shaq? Can you root to hear him brag that he "told you so"? Judging from Lakers fans' reaction at Staples Center this season -- they cheer every time the Heat score is shown and Miami is losing or has lost -- the answer is no.

Most in Los Angeles still follow the Shaq trade like a stock market IPO. It's been mostly a down investment for the past couple of seasons, but the city was rejoicing on April 30 when the Lakers took a 3-1 series lead against the Suns and the Heat found themselves tied 2-2 to the underdog Bulls after a couple of miserable performances from O'Neal. For a couple of days, the trade looked like a stroke of genius with Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown and the young Lakers following Bryant's lead to the second round while an aging O'Neal looked to be on the way to a possible first-round exit. Talk radio stations were filled with callers bragging not only about the success of the Lakers but also about the demise of O'Neal. We all know how that script ended. The Lakers proceeded to lose three straight, the Heat went on to win two straight and are now four wins away from their first world championship.

While a part of me wishes that Payton and O'Neal had found their fountain of youth two years ago, when the Pistons embarrassed the Lakers in the Finals, I turned to my brother after Miami had eliminated Detroit and told him that I was happy for them. Happy not only for O'Neal, Payton and Riley but also for former Lakers coach and current Heat general manger Randy Pfund, former Lakers and current Heat assistant coach Bob McAdoo and any other former Lakers who had switched their allegiances to the Heat. After all, as Shaq told me after ending his feud with Kobe in January, "Life's too short to have enemies."


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...6/05/hot.read/

POP A SHOT 06-05-2006 06:22 PM

its worn off me by now

VCDrivesAPorscheToWork 06-05-2006 06:33 PM

Re:
 
if only I could post a rolling emoticon

Put Back Dunk 06-05-2006 06:38 PM

Quote:

I mean, how would you answer that question if your girlfriend of eight years left you and was all of a sudden marrying some dude down in South Beach?

NO!

The Lakers traded Shaq, not the other way around. Is this what *certain* Laker fans have resorted to - pretending that Shaq left on his own and Kobe had nothing to do with it? Just pitiful.

Timmeh 06-05-2006 06:42 PM

its their own fault their pissed...it could be kobe they traded away but no, they got rid of snaq and now their watching him in the finals while they sit at home watching the dodgers and being pissed at kobe for being a ballhog

POP A SHOT 06-05-2006 06:44 PM

getting rid of kobe would have also been a mistake.it was a lose, lose situation.shaq was getting old and is not going to be around as long as kobe will.

Unregistered 06-05-2006 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Timmeh
its their own fault their pissed...it could be kobe they traded away but no, they got rid of snaq and now their watching him in the finals while they sit at home watching the dodgers and being pissed at kobe for being a ballhog


honestly thats true. the Lakers GM had a choice and they made one. in the shortterm it was definitely a wrong decision but longterm....? who knows. in 10 years it could be the best decision the Lakers ever made.

i dont understand why Laker fans hate Shaq tho. Barkley left Philly the same exact way. blasting the city, blasting the organization, but he always recieved crowd support everytime he returned. people were grateful for the work that he gave them....and he didnt accomplish anything close to what SHaq did in LA.

give the guy some praise. who cares how it ended. he gave you guys 3 years of parades and bragging rights. cant you at least give him some respect for that? being a hardcore fan of your team is one thing but honor the past.

Put Back Dunk 06-05-2006 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by POP A SHOT
getting rid of kobe would have also been a mistake.it was a lose, lose situation.shaq was getting old and is not going to be around as long as kobe will.


It obviously comes down to a matter of opinion on which player they should have kept and which they should have traded. But regardless of who you think the Lakers should have kept you can't then complain about it later on when the other guy has success somewhere else in a way that makes it seem like the player left on his own like this jackass who wrote the article did.

hotsizzle 06-05-2006 08:10 PM

shaq is in miami, there goin to the finals. doesnt bother me. the way i look at it is that the only thing that should upset me is my team's losses, not other team's success.

zebraheat 06-05-2006 08:22 PM

10yr window? Thats a lot of crap, Kobe doesn't have 10yrs left at the elite level. Shaq will have at least as much impact as Kobe in the next 4yrs.

I ask you this, if Shaq and Wade are in the finals, would you have traded Kobe for Wade and Odom? Would you be happy as Shaq and Wade as Lakers in the Finals?

Defining question.

Unregistered 06-05-2006 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zebraheat
I ask you this, if Shaq and Wade are in the finals, would you have traded Kobe for Wade and Odom? Would you be happy as Shaq and Wade as Lakers in the Finals?

Defining question.


Shaq, Wade, and Odom would be one sweet team. Odom would be lethal as a 3rd option (its probably the role he's best suited for).

its too early to judge this trade tho....Heat right now got the best of it obviously. 2 years going very deep in the playoffs. Lakers only have 1 playoff series to show for the trade......but its way too early. give it 2 or 3 more years. they ended up with the younger guy. maybe he can do something.

A Roc 23 06-05-2006 08:28 PM


TheGreatNumber8 06-05-2006 08:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by A Roc 23


We have those icons now?

DCL 06-05-2006 08:32 PM

LA groupie fans still can't over the fact that they got screwed when Shaq got traded.

lakerfreak 06-07-2006 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Put Back Dunk
NO!

The Lakers traded Shaq, not the other way around. Is this what *certain* Laker fans have resorted to - pretending that Shaq left on his own and Kobe had nothing to do with it? Just pitiful.



Keep in mind Shaq was the one who demanded a trade, But lakers made a mistake limiting their options to eastern teams only.

We could have had a way better roster that would have involved Dirk Nowitzki or Amare Stoudemire. But they made their choice and must live through it until they trade lamar for a Superstar such as Garnett


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