Tuesday, June 20, 2006

An Open Letter To Shaq

Ok Big Fella. When you got here before last season, via the trade from L.A., you arrived to Down Town Miami, squirted a giant water bazooka at the fans, made fun of how short the mayor is, made fun of how short then-head-coach Stan Van Gundy was ( say was, because I'm not sure if he's still alive. He hasn't been seen since he stepped down) … and then you made a promise to us Miami Heat faithful.

You promised us an NBA championship.

So far, this series has been all about Dwyane Wade. The kid is magical, phenomenal, astounding. And if we can pull this thing off, he will be named the Finals MVP.

But Game 6 rests on your burly shoulders, Diesel. Because as much as the Dallas defenders have had no answer for Wade, they surely have an answer for you. It’s called the foul line.

It’s a self-admitted weakness. You suck at shooting free throws. You always have. You’ve had to suffer through it your entire career. But in this series, it has been more evident than ever before. You say you can hit them when it matters? I believe you. You hit two very crucial free throws in the waning moments of Game 3, which led to our improbable comeback win.

But that was Game 3. That was yesterday. I plead with you, Big Aristotle. Hit. Your. Free. Throws. Tonight. (And, for petesakes, stay out of foul trouble)

Expect the Mavs to be all over Wade tonight. Avery Johnson is going to send 3 guys at him all night. He’s going to do everything to keep Wade from penetrating to the hoop and he’s going to have guys bother him and make him take bad shots.

This means that you, Diesel, will have to step up and deliver. The Mavs, along with every other team in the NBA, have no one who can guard you. They have no one who is as strong as you. All they have is the Hack-A-Shaq.

So, it’s time to deliver, Big Man. It’s time for one of those patented Shaq-Finals performances that has defined your legacy over the years. Everyone, and I mean everyone, insists that you just don’t have it any more. They say you are not able to be the Dominant Force or Difference Maker any more. They say you’re old. They say you’re over-rated. They have relegated you to “role-player” status.

I say that’s all crap. And you know it. Now it’s time to prove it.

Shaq, this team is one win away from a title. One win away from sealing your legend among the greatest big men in the history of the game. All signs point to the Mavs gearing to stopping Wade tonight. He’s done his part. He’s gotten us this far.

It’s time for you to get us through the rest of the way. It’s time for you to heave this team onto your gargantuan shoulders and carry them through the fire, into the Promised Land.

It’s time for you to deliver a Shaq-like performance. It’s time for you to deliver on that promise.



Damn straight! It's time for Shaq to step up and deliver. Although if Wade has another 40+ game and wins it for us again, I won't mind that at all.

But Shaq needs to step up. And more than that, he needs to hit his free throws. Avery is going to make the Heat's role players win that 4th game.

With the mugging of Wade and the Hack-A-Shaq at an all-time hight tonight, someone needs to step up and be the 3rd Guy.

Posey? Toine? J-Will? Crushernaut?

Who's it gonna be?

I just want them to win tonight so bad. I'm so tired of the whiney Mavericks. They dont deserve a title with the way they've been acting.

Very true about the role players. The key here is going to be handling the noise and the fury that the Mavs are going to bring.

The Heat have to approach this game as if THEY are the ones that are down 3-2. It's going to be hostile. The only way to silence that building is by playing 48 minutes of all out ball.

Come on Shaq! Come on D-Wade! Come on J-Will! Come on Udonis! Come on Posey! Come on Zo! Come on GP! Come on Toine! Come on Riles!

I totally agree with you Dude. Shaq needs to turn in a performance for the ages tonight. I agree that Avery is going to gear his entire offense around Wade and the Hack-A-Shaq ... so the Diesel needs to step up.

I hope he reads your letter :)

Shaq is going to do it. I can feel it. On the other side, can you feel the melt down of the Mavs. I've really enjoyed waatching Mark Cuban, Dirk, Avery Johnson, and the rest of the Macs fans swear Kennedy-esque conspiracy theories as the reason for their losses.

Go Heat!
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