Posted Jun 7,
2006, 9:40 AM ET
To show everyone
the depth of my reporting instincts, Im going to offer the questions I would
offer the person who is probably taking the biggest onslaught of media, Shaq.
Here are the questions I want answers to from Shaquille:
1. Shaq-You have
several young children. Which Wiggles song is your favorite? Which do you like
2. How many times
have you had to watch Ice Age and did you take your kids to see Ice Age 2?
3. Are your kids
so big they are confused with kids twice their age?
4. Have you ever
been contacted to turn Kazaam into an off-Broadway musical? Has anyone sampled
Shaq Fu in a hit song yet?
5. Will you admit
in public that you have hummed Barney's I Love You song to yourself in a
During a game in
December 2003 a Mavs scoreboard video compared Shaq (then with the Lakers) to
Fat Albert. Cuban got fined $25,000 by the NBA. "It was money well spent
because the audience loved it," he says, "and so did Shaq." He's
right: O'Neal later included Dallas among the teams he wanted to play for, once
he decided he wanted a divorce from Kobe Bryant. ("He's a
one-of-kind-dude," Shaq said of Cuban last week, with admiration.)
But Cuban keeps
blurring the line between good fun and bad sportsmanship. Before Game 1, Chris
Arnold, the Mavs' courtside emcee, told the crowd, "And if the referees
make a bad call, you know what to do-boo! This game is too important not
Cuban offers no
apologies. Suggest to him that he's the primary reason that the game-those 48
minutes when players actually dribble, pass and shoot-has taken a backseat to
the circus going on inside his arena, and he says, "The game is ancillary.
If this [were] about pleasing basketball purists, the Finals would still be on
delayed CBS-TV, and nobody would watch it. What you have to remember is that
there is no way that 20,000 fans are there because they love basketball."
And so there's this irony to this series: The owner who thinks the game is
peripheral has reached the place in which the games matter the most.