Thursday , Jan , 24 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Is Shaquille O’Neal Going to Walk Away from $40 Million?

There is no easy way out.Not from the 8-32 record the Heat carries into the midpoint of its season tonight against visiting San Antonio. Not from the extreme revamp that this roster requires.Not from the mortgage-the-future approach taken in constructing the 2006 team that delivered championship euphoria along Biscayne Boulevard. Or is there?

Could salvation again come from the same liberator who drove up to AmericanAirlines Arena in a diesel rig in July 2004 with what proved to be a title in tow? Shaquille O’Neal has proven to be many things in his four seasons in South Florida. Could he next be the Big Benefactor, willing to walk away from the $40 million owed on his contract over the next two seasons? It certainly is a reach, longer than those Size 23 sneakers, wider than those biceps at full flex. But it also is the easiest way out for the Heat for at least two more years.Click here for more from the Sun Sentinel.