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Monday , Mar , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Shaq: Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard ’won’t dare play me one-on-one’

Shaquille O'Neal had a lot to say in a little time during a recent Q&A. Q: How much do you look forward to the opportunity to go up against guys like Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum in the playoffs? A: Excuse me? Don't ask me a question like that. Q: But that's what people want to know. Those guys are playing so well and everyone wants to see if you can match up with them one-on-one. A: First of all, they won't dare play me one-on-one, even at the tender age of 39. And you know what? Playin' those teams, it ain't gonna be about the [center] matchup, so I don't really worry about that.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: His age doesn’t matter. Neither do his injuries. Shaquille O’Neal, never lacking in confidence, just called out the game’s best centers.

Why the confidence?

O’Neal, even at 39, thinks he can still hold his own against premier fives like Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard. For one game, he’s fine. In a seven game series, he probably doesn’t get embarrassed.

O’Neal’s wear-and-tear does show during the regular season. He gets nicked up. His lack of fitness and age becomes a problem.

Credit Boston Celtics Coach Glen ‘Doc’ Rivers for limiting O’Neal’s minutes, knowing his size and experience will be needed against, say, Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum in the playoffs.

This brings us back to O’Neal comments. Consider the timing: He’s returning from injury and the playoffs are fast approaching.
 
Clearly, the veteran is anticipating a match-up against Howard’s Magic and Bynum’s Lakers. He’s playing the role of angry mentor, and once again trashing both to the media.

There’s a method to his madness. Spouting off to the press has provided O’Neal with a mental advantage in the past, especially when facing Howard.

But Bynum has no reason to take the bait. Not this time around, at least. He’s been brilliant since February’s All-Star game, helping the two-time defending champion Lakers regain their form.

So O’Neal still talks-the-talk. Can he still walk-the-walk on-court? We’ll find out come playoffs.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Nov , 04 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Did Kevin Garnett drop ‘The Cancer Bomb’ on Charlie Villanueva?

Garnett, known as a trash talker, stuck to his usual routine and did not speak to the media before Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

He did issue a statement before the game.

"I am aware there was a major miscommunication regarding something I said on the court last night. My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact: You are cancerous to your team and our league,"' Garnett said. "I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball."

One of Villanueva's tweets read: "KG called me a cancer patient, I'm [mad] because, u know how many people died from cancer, and he's tossing it like it's a joke."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: No doubt about it, Kevin Garnett has crossed the line before.

More than once, ‘The Big Ticket’ has exercised questionable judgment, elbowing, pushing, shoving, and brawling with opponents.

Two years ago, he made even Glen Davis cry. Davis is a teammate.  

Despite his questionable reputation, Garnett wouldn’t unleash The Cancer Bomb on Detroit Piston Charlie Villanueva.

Garnett would, however, call the forward cancerous to his team and league. And his version of events was recently confirmed by Boston Celtics coach Glen 'Doc' Rivers.

With respect to Villanueva, Garnett is right.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.