Shaq Puts on a Show at the 2009 NBA All-Star GameCategory: Basketball
After Shaquille O’Neal was named to his 15th NBA All-Star game, he promised that he will go to work and make this a memorable one. As a gracious host (the game was held in his home court Phoenix), he entertained his guests in ways he only can deliver in what might be his last All-Star game.
He started it off during the West All-Stars’ practice on February 14 when he and Chauncey Billups participated in an attempt to break the most free throws made while blindfolded in 1 minute. The standing record is 5 which Billups tied. Shaq made just 3. I wonder how many can Shaq make NOT blindfolded?
During the All-Star game player introductions, Shaq danced with the Jabbawockeez (America’s Best Dance Crew Season 1 winner) much to the delight of the fans. It kind of reminded me of his dance showdown with Dwight Howard during the 2007 All-Star festivities. I read somewhere that there are actually Filipinos in that dance group.
After he was inserted into the game lineup in place of starter Yao Ming, the Big Shaqtus immediately went to work with an array of dunks and fancy passes. But it was a give-and-go with Chris Paul in the 3rd quarter that brought the house down. The new Superman Dwight Howard could only laugh on how the duo toyed with him on that play.
For the game, he showed everyone his ball-handling skills and even did three chin-ups on the ring after a thunderous dunk. He also managed to hit 8 consecutive shots after missing his first attempt going 8 of 9 overall for 17 points. Such was his impact on the game that even if he only played 11 minutes (which was the least for ALL players), he was voted as the co-All-Star game MVP with his former LA Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant who led all scorers with 27. Being the consummate class clown that he is, his antics did not stop as he playfully tried to grab away the trophy from Kobe.
It’s almost like a fairy tale ending to the Shaq-Kobe love-hate relationship. Five years after their LA Lakers tandem got them 3 championship rings, their Western Conference All-Stars tandem today have each got them their 3rd NBA All-Star game MVP trophy, tied for second most in league history. Shaq got his first two on the 2000 (co-MVP with Tim Duncan) and 2004 All-Star games while Kobe on the 2002 and 2007. Shaq even coined a new word (as he always does), “The Big Legendaries” pertaining to him and Kobe.
At least for 48 minutes, they showed the world again how dangerous they can be when playing together.If you want to receive my latest posts, please subscribe to my full feed RSS or have them delivered through email. Just enter your email address below and hit the Subscribe button.