Somehow this seems to have been lost in all the hype about tonight’s big game, but the Suns lost a game to the Bulls on Saturday night in what can only be called a futile attempt to even try to win. At home. Not shockingly, Shaquille O’Neal was not happy about the setback, and after a closed door meeting, the newly re-named Shaqovich made his views incredibly clear to the media who stuck around to talk to him about the setback.
How clear, you ask? Well, try the quotes for a starter:
“M-A-N, motherf—–g dash, U-P. Man up. Seriously. Nothing else to talk about. Excuse time is over … We’ve torn the locker room up, had meetings, but there’s nothing else to talk about. Everyone has to man up, you’ve got to play your guy, and we’ve got to do it as a team.”
Wow. Tell us how you really feel big fella? Oh wait, you did, we just waited until after the jump to use it.
Ready for it? Here it is:
“You just gotta man up,” O’Neal said. “Whoever your man is that day, you just gotta say, ‘he’s not getting off.’ That’s what I’ve tried to do my whole career. I’ve never been a defensive stopper, but whoever I’ve got to play that night, he’s not gettin’ off on me. You have to want to play defense. It doesn’t matter what type of style we play on offense, offense is not our problem. You still got to make stops. If you want to be a good team, if you want to make it to the big dance, you still got to make stops. Period. Doesn’t matter if we run, or slow it down, you gotta f—–g stop somebody. Period. Teams are going to be coming in here and playing way above their heads. They want to beat me, Steve (Nash), Grant (Hill), and Amare (Stoudamire), so we’ve got to be ready for that. You just got to man up.”
So what caused the latest explosion of Mount Shaqsuvieus? Try giving up 122 points to the Bulls. That’s right, the Bulls. The last time we checked, Chicago had a great rookie point guard (Derek Rose), a decent undersized shooting guard with clutch tendencies in Ben Gordon and, well, that’s about it. So how are the Bulls putting up 122 points on the Suns?
Equally troubling is the fact that Shaq was added last spring specifically to address the team’s lack of defense. He knows that the team’s continual defensive collapses make his efforts look might shoddy, and that’s unquestionably a big part of the reason why he’s so pissed off.
Than again, maybe he’s just trying to scare guys like Jason Richardson, Leandro Barbosa and Matt Barnes straight. Who knows. Maybe he just wants more time for Jared Dudley and Robin Lopez. With the big Aristotle, anything’s possible, and only one thing is certain: You don’t want to be the one responsible for pissing him off.