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Monday, June 05, 2006

Dwyane Wade's Sunday Conversation with Rachel Nichols

ESPN's Sunday Conversation featured Rachel Nichols' interview with Dwyane Wade. Wade made a couple interesting comments:

1) Asked how many players he would select before himself if he were starting a team today, Wade said that to build a great team you have to take a dominant center first. His choice would be Shaquille O'Neal, despite O'Neal's advancing age. Then he would pick either himself or LeBron James.

2) Wade explained that the reason that he and Shaq get along better than Shaq did with Penny Hardaway or Kobe Bryant is that Shaq is at a different stage of his career now. The young Shaq and the young Penny were both exciting players who wanted to be the main guy on the team and the same conflict took place with Shaq and Kobe. Wade added that now Shaq realizes that he cannot shoot 30 times a game and is happy to defer to a young, unselfish Wade. Wade indicated that he and Shaq have talked about this subject and that what Wade told Nichols reflected what Shaq said to him.

This made me wonder three things: 1) How do Magic and Lakers fans feel about this transformation in Shaq's thinking? 2) How much better would the Lakers have been in 2003 and 2004 if Shaq would have dealt with Kobe the way he deals with Wade now? 3) How well would Shaq and Wade get along if Shaq resisted deferring to him the way he refused to defer to Kobe? As C & C Music Factory sang many years ago, these are things that make you go hmm.

posted by David Friedman @ 1:00 AM



At Monday, June 05, 2006 9:35:00 AM, Blogger illest said...

This has nothing to do with the interview, but I wonder this: What is Stan Van Gundy thinking at home right now?

Shaquille is older so Im sure his thinking has changed. He deals with Wade differently because Wade is more humble than Bryant and respects Shaquille more. Shaquille is number 5 in the top five centers ever, contrary to what Elliot Kalb thinks. When you have that asset you should respect and know your place. Bryant didnt and will continue to struggle. As you can see, Bryant has humbled him self a bit. But again Shaquille is aging like most centers do around this age. He knows its not his team, but with Penny and Bryant, Shaquille knew those were his teams.

The crazy thing is if Shaquille would have gotten along with Penny and Bryant he would probably have 6 or 7 rings.
On a side note Rachel Nichols is kinda fly.

At Tuesday, June 06, 2006 2:46:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

We may never know what Stan Van Gundy is thinking because he has been sequestered away from the media like someone who is in the witness protection program. I think that someone reported (perhaps on ESPN) that a condition of his contract buyout is that he not talk about the team.

I think that Bryant respected Shaq when they were teamamtes but he also had high expectations for Shaq in terms of physical conditioning and playing defense--and it's not as if Kobe slacks off in either of those areas. I agree that if Shaq had gotten along better with his earlier sidekicks that he would have won more championships. I'm still not convinced that he is going to win a title without Kobe.

At Tuesday, June 06, 2006 9:19:00 AM, Blogger illest said...

So I see you got Dallas to win. Vecsey has Hubie in seven. How many games do you have Dallas to win?

What Bryant said about Shaquille's conditioning is true but I dont think he respected him. He could say that behind closed doors and not to the media.

At Tuesday, June 06, 2006 3:57:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...

I'm not sure what you mean by Hubie in seven. I like Dallas in six.

I suspect that Kobe talked to Shaq about his conditioning in private before he said anything publicly. Granted, he probably should not have said it publicly but Kobe was right--Shaq had a responsibility to maintain his conditioning. The downfall of the Lakers began in the 2002 offseason when Shaq put off surgery until the end of the summer, came back out of shape and the Lakers spent all season fighting uphill, eventually losing to San Antonio in the playoffs.

At Wednesday, June 07, 2006 10:54:00 AM, Blogger illest said...

I was quoting Vecsey who wrote in his column that he has Hubie in seven. Obviously that makes no sense like Vecsey usually does.
Im sure Bryant talked to O'Neal in private but he should have kept it there.


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