You want a very frank assessment from the NBA on TNT desk? These days you can go to either end for the “tell it like it is” approach. Charles “I-don’t-care-what-people-think” Barkley will usually deliver a blunt phrase or two for hoops fans to chew on each night. But down at the other end, the sagacious Big Aristotle — AKA Shaquille O’Neal — talks the blunt talk too. What’s wrong with the OKC Thunder, Shaq? Shaq couldn’t be simpler: “I don’t like the way they play, he says. “And you would think Paul George and [Russell] Westbrook would know better.” Kaboom, Shaq with a slam dunk.
Shaq continues: “I’m watching Boston and Hubie Brown made an interesting point. In the 4th quarter (Celtics head coach) Brad Stevens is controlling the game, calling all the plays. Whatever happened to the days, slow down a little bit and call the play. We need this game, we gotta do everything right. [The Thunder] are playing hero ball, taking crazy shots, trying to shoot the three. They been doing it all year, every time they get down they try to come back with the fancy moves and shoot the three…”
Sometimes it works, says Shaq, but obviously not enough. Russell Westbrook was the MVP of the MBA last year — Shaq has high expectations. “You’d think those guys would know better.” Down 3-1 against the Trail Blazers, the Thunder will have another chance to show Shaq and the loyal OKC fans they can play something other than “hero ball.”