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The Beat
By Adam Duerson
March 20, 2006
Say hello to Shaq's little friends. Shaquille O'Neal celebrated his 34th birthday last Friday with a Scarface-themed bash at a Miami mansion that featured Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino look-alikes, live flamingos and tigers, and rooms done up to resemble different scenes from Shaq's favorite flick. Barely an hour after scoring 21 points in a loss to Golden State, the Big Aristotle arrived to mingle with his Heat teammates and a guest list that included two-time Indy 500 champ Helio Castroneves, Vivica Fox, Star Jones and rappers Ludacris and Trick Daddy. The guest of honor (right) was toasted by his wife, Shaunie, and presented with a 23-inch cake in the shape of a film reel before Julio Iglesias Jr. sang Happy Birthday to him.
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March 20, 2006

The Beat

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Say hello to Shaq's little friends. Shaquille O'Neal celebrated his 34th birthday last Friday with a Scarface-themed bash at a Miami mansion that featured Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino look-alikes, live flamingos and tigers, and rooms done up to resemble different scenes from Shaq's favorite flick. Barely an hour after scoring 21 points in a loss to Golden State, the Big Aristotle arrived to mingle with his Heat teammates and a guest list that included two-time Indy 500 champ Helio Castroneves, Vivica Fox, Star Jones and rappers Ludacris and Trick Daddy. The guest of honor (right) was toasted by his wife, Shaunie, and presented with a 23-inch cake in the shape of a film reel before Julio Iglesias Jr. sang Happy Birthday to him.

? There's someone out there who can feel the pain of embattled slugger Barry Bonds: Deuce Bigalow himself, Rob Schneider. The actor recently stopped by the San Francisco Giants' training camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., to promote his upcoming baseball movie, The Benchwarmers, in theaters on April 7. Schneider took batting practice with Bonds and played several innings at second base in an intrasquad scrimmage. ("I tried to turn a double play," he said, "and I ended up turning my ankle.") He and Bonds are "quite alike," Schneider told SI. " Roger Ebert said Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo was the worst movie last year, and I've gotten worst acting awards. I'm the media's punching bag. Same with Barry."

? Sasha Cohen had trouble landing anything during her long program in Turin, but at an Academy Awards after-party in Los Angeles she may have landed her first movie role. Cohen (right) who won the Olympic silver medal despite falling twice, served as an Oscar correspondent for Inside Edition. She chatted up Ben Stiller at the Vanity Fair bash, and the two discussed a role for Cohen, 21, in the forthcoming figure skating comedy, Blades of Glory, which Stiller is producing. Says Cohen, "It's not like it would be a stretch."

? Rapper Nelly recently struck a deal to design his own shoes for Reebok. At the NBA All-Star game in Houston he did some extreme research: He stole Allen Iverson's hightops. The Charlotte Bobcats co-owner greeted AI courtside after the game and jokingly demanded of his friend, "Gimme those." (Iverson complied.) Nelly decided against cribbing any ideas from the shoes--he chose a low-top design--for his own kicks, which come out on April 4. But he did hang on to Iverson's shoes. "I'm having a case built for those on my mantel as we speak," he says.... The Hornets lost to the Lakers in their first game in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, but their return to the city was not a sad occasion. The day of the March 8 game, a group of current and former players (including Chris Paul, Luke Walton, Spud Webb and Bill Walton) grabbed hammers and helped Habitat for Humanity build a home in the city's Ninth Ward district.

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