Wednesday , Nov , 21 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

The Day in Quotes: NY Hates the Knicks; Miami is in Trouble; Iggy is Mad

Shaquille O’Neal vows to get back to the old Shaq.  Our man Oly Sandor covered this saga earlier in the week, and it seems as if the story still has legs. The Diesel yesterday affirmed his commitment to earning his keep, which, at twenty million a year, means he’ll be expected to average forty, block eight shots a night, coach the team, hand out towels and train the cheerleading squad.

“I’ll step up. I will. Have no fear.”

“Some of what he’s saying and some of what Dwyane’s saying is true. I’ve got to step up.”

“I’m not a trouble-maker. I’m not trying to start any trouble. But that’s something I always say to myself, ‘my way.’”

“If teams are going to double, we’ve got to kick it out and guys have to step up and make ’em pay. If they’re not going to double, then I’ve got to make ’em pay. And I haven’t been making ’em pay. But I will. It’s payday.” – Shaquille O’Neal

Somebody throw that on a t-shirt. Shaq’s always good for those notable quotables. He used to be good for a twenty-ten line every night, too, and that’s what his team needs from him now.

“He’s worked for 15 years to power — bang, bang, bang. Now we’re trying to make it easier on him. We don’t want him to go out there and bang, bang, bang as much.” – Dwyane Wade

Anybody out there seen Friday or virtually any other movie in which John Witherspoon plays a role? All I’m saying is that “bang, bang, bang” means something entirely different to me. Blame the movies.

“I think they understand. We’re going to continue to work on his package, but his package has other options in it for other players.” – Pat Riley

“No homo”, Riley would have added if he were a teenager.

Pat Riley is madder than a mother-shut your mouth.  It took a catastrophic start to the season to do it, but the unshakeable Patrick James Riley, veteran of umpteen seasons as a player, coach and executive, is finally flustered. You wouldn’t know it by looking at his hair, though. Still, composed façade aside, Pat is pissed, and he’s made it clear that a shake-up is afoot in MIA.

“I said ‘Yeah, we’re 1-7, if I’m going to make changes, I’m going to make changes.’ It could be massive. It could be two guys. That’s pretty massive. It could be somebody out of the rotation. It could be bringing in somebody from the outside.” – Pat Riley

Massive. So, what is The R fixing to do that’s going to change the world? We can but wait and see. What’s apparent now, however, is that he’s not aiming his invective specifically at Shaq.

“We’re 2-8, and it’s not his fault. And that’s where you’re trying to land. You’re trying to lay it there, and nobody on this team is trying to lay it there. Everything I read is directed at him.” – Pat Riley

The people have turned on the New York Knicks. As someone who has spent more than his fair share of time in Madison Square Garden, I’ve heard the “Fire Isiah” chant more than once, and the “Fuck Isiah” chant almost as many times. It turns out that Zeke himself heard the former (at least) last night and, what’s more, seems to sympathise with the fans.

“They were right. What they saw tonight, if I had paid my money to see this game, I’d be upset also. This is New York, and when you’re playing well you get cheered, and you play this poorly you get booed and there’s a lot of venom that comes at you.” – Isiah Thomas

Venom and nachos. I was in MSG on draft night 2006 when the Knicks picked Renaldo Balkman, and Isiah’s image on the big screen alone was enough to elicit a hail of snack food projectiles. If I had to take a cheese shower and a pretzel to the dome, he at least deserves to suffer a little heckling.

“When you’re watching a game like we played tonight, the venom that comes out, you deserve it. The booing, ‘Get rid of this guy, get rid of me, get rid of him,’ that’s how the fans react. It comes with the territory we have and the place that we live in. That’s how it is, that’s how it goes.” – Isiah Thomas

Zach Randolph, on the other hand, doesn’t appear so comfortable with the crowd’s friendly reminders not to suck.

“I didn’t like that. I ain’t never heard nothing like that. Coming from Portland, I ain’t never heard the fans do something like that. It was surprising…It’s hard on me because Isiah brought me here, and he’s a good coach. We ain’t winning right now, but it’s early in the season and I’m new. We just have to work it out.” – Zach Randolph

David Lee and Quentin Richardson, meanwhile, understood the need to be less of what the New York crowd might term “a bitch”, taking the criticism in stride.

“The name of the game in New York is winning, and we didn’t get that accomplished. I know the fans were frustrated, as we were. They pay their price to come to the game, so they’re entitled to yell what they want. I just tried to block it out and play ball.” – David Lee

“Start playing well. That’s always the answer in New York. When we play well, none of this stuff happens.” – Quentin Richardson

Iggy rips on Philly. A little further down the coast in Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala played the role of the Big Apple crowd by tearing his team a new one.

“It’s the same old thing. It’s like mass confusion out there on the court. The whole game, we were never really on the same page. They played basic basketball, and we just were awful.” – Andre Iguodala

Tell ‘em why you mad, son. Oh, wait; he did. Well, he wasn’t done there.

“We’ve got to do something, anything — maybe make a move. I don’t know. This is getting out of hand. We’ve got to do something to turn things around. We’re not doing a good job as players. Everybody in the organization needs to step up.” – Andre Iguodala