Big Day For ‘The Big Diesel’, Shaquille O’Neal

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There are many names for four-time NBA champion and future Hall of Fame great Shaquille O’Neal—many of which he has given himself:  The Big Aristotle, The Big Galactus, Shaqtus, Diesel, Steel and Hobo Master (yes, Hobo Master) among others.

Thursday O’Neal celebrated his birthday. After a long NBA career and continued success off the court, perhaps it’s time to consider a new name…perhaps The Big Father Time?

As he continues to grow older, his popularity still remains. Three of the basketball organizations that he played for professionally—stateside and in international play (having won gold medals in the ’94 FIBA World Championship and ’96 Summer Olympics)—took time recognize his birthday.

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SH Blog: Leonard has fracture in right hand, Woodson confronted Chandler about questioning his defensive tactics

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In case you haven’t noticed, Dwyane Wade has been missing an awful lot of games this season for someone who reportedly has no injuries.

The Miami Heat’s training staff have Wade on a strict schedule in terms of when he should play – he has missed 12 games on the season – to preserve and prepare his body for the playoffs. The problem with this is that the team is just 7-5 when he is out of the lineup, and it’s a growing concern when you consider the championship aspirations of this team. The guard has missed three consecutive games for the first time this season, and LeBron James finally discussed how missing his partner hurts the Heat in their process of becoming a great team this season, from Michael Wallace of ESPN:

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Bernucca: Why the Lakers have to trade Dwight Howard

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Dwight Howard is the best center in the NBA. Yes, still.

He also is (a) incapable of making an elbow jumper, (b) unreliable at the free-throw line, (c) susceptible to long-term injury, (d) hypersensitive to criticism from teammates and coaches, (e) more interested in becoming the next Bill Murray rather than the next Bill Russell and (f) wondering why no one has handed him the icon status he desperately craves.

But the worst thing Howard is – and unlike the items above, this is a temporary condition – is a square peg in a round hole.

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50-at-50: A Chronology Of The 50 Greatest Jordan Moments

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At the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center

How do you rank Michael Jordan’s career achievement list?

The answer: It’s nearly impossible.

The G.O.A.T., as he’s so often referred to (by those who never saw Wilt Chamberlain play) has done so much for the game that ranking his performances simply doesn’t do justice to his illustrious career.

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Hubbard: NBA All-Star Week — Just Go With It

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If you’re looking for a way to capture the quality of NBA All-Star Week, think Adam Sandler movies. They are meant to be entertaining. They are hectic, foolish and sometimes embarrassing. The critics hate them.

And the fans love them.

Take a look at the web site Rottentomatoes.com and find Adam Sandler movies, whether it’s as a writer, producer or star. By my count, 39 of them have been rated by critics. Of those 39, 34 of the reviews have been negative.

Safe to say Adam will not be polishing that speech for the Oscars.

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