MIAMI--Shaquille O’Neal announced plans today to skip the remainder of the postseason in order to focus his attention on insulting the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaq has engaged in a war of words with his former team ever since last year’s trade that sent him to the Miami Heat. Now that he has more time on his hands, Lakers owner Jerry Buss, GM Mitch Kupchak, and Kobe Bryant are bracing themselves for the worst.

Shaq began his smear campaign on Monday, when he told the Miami Herald’s Dan LeBatard that Bryant was “a big pussy.”

“You know what Kobe Bryant is? He’s a big goddamn pussy,” Shaq said. “You can print that, too. Kobe Bryant is a big goddamn pussy. When I was in LA I wanted to choke the life out of him. Luckily, the Diesel is a reasonable man. But now the gloves are off. No more basketball for me. It’s time for me to focus on my true calling--belittling people through the media with meticulously crafted one-liners.”

While his main target remains Kobe Bryant, Shaq also had a few words for owner Jerry Buss.

“Jerry Buss is a senile old man,” he said. “That guy traded away the best big man in history--Shaq daddy, Shaq-fu--for three spare parts. What’s worse, he implied that I was overweight last year. Can you believe that? I was not overweight last year. I wasn’t tall, either. Or black. And the sky wasn’t blue.”

O’Neal did say that he would be following his team closely in their quest for a championship.

“Don’t worry. I will definitely be checking the scores every morning after they play,” he said. “My teammates are very important to me. I want them to do well. It’s just that I have bigger priorities in my life right now. I’ll be back playing again next year, though. Don’t worry. The Diesel will ride again down the…no, that doesn’t sound good. The Diesel will run them over with…um…I don’t know. Let me get back to you on that one.”

Without Shaq, the Miami Heat were able to win their last two games against the Washington Wizards and sweep the series 4-0. However, things should get much tougher in the second round, when they will face either the Detroit Pistons or Indiana Pacers. The team is disappointed that their center will be absent, but players stopped short of criticizing O’Neal.

“It’s going to be tough without Shaq, no question about it,” said Dwyane Wade. “He’s the straw that stirs the drink here. Now we’re really going to have to have guys step up in his absence. I guess it would be easy to criticize him for what he’s doing, but I don’t really think that’s appropriate right now. We need to focus on getting the job done on the court. And don’t forget that we still have Alonzo Mourning. He’s one of the best in the league at dramatically pumping his fists and yelling at the heavens.”

Over in Los Angeles, the Lakers are prepared for a war of words. Bryant refused to get involved, but Buss and Kupchak stepped up to defend themselves.

“Look, we made a very difficult decision to trade Shaq last season,” Kupchak said. “We knew it was going to hurt us but we felt it was the best thing to do in the long run. Whether we were right or wrong is beside the point. We certainly didn’t do it as a slight against the guy. The fact is, he was a fat cow during his last few seasons with us. He was just this giant, fat, brick-throwing mountain lumbering around the court gasping for air. Kobe, on the other hand, is a sleek, well-oiled machine, who just happens to be a sociopath.”

As part of his new smear campaign, Shaq took out a full page ad in the New York Times stating that the Lakers suck and that Kobe Bryant is a “punk” who should be “thrown in front of a bus.” He also made the rounds on the late-night talk show circuit, appearing on Letterman and Leno in the same week. On both nights, he skewered his old team with his trademark wit and candor.

“Mitch Kupchak has no class. He doesn’t even know how to tie his shoes,” Shaq said to David Letterman on Tuesday night. “He traded away the Big Aristotle. And you know, Dave, when you piss off the Big Aristotle, you’re playing with fire. Someday, when he least expects it, I’m going to show up at his office, break the door down, and beat him within an inch of his life. Then I’m going to go after his family. Then, after all of that is finished, I will finally shut my fat mouth for five minutes. Just kidding!”

Shaq Drops Out Of Playoffs To Focus On Insulting Lakers
May 17th, 2005 - Volume 1 Issue 99