The Age of Entitlement

Shaquille O’Neal joshes with the best of them, suggesting that he must know when he’s even bullshitting himself. Witness, for example, his assessment of the Heat’s chances of landing a top playoff seed. “We’re not going to get in one of those four spots,” O’Neal said after the likes of Philadelphia had pasted the Heat and held him to just 5 points. “So we’ll play Boston, beat Boston and then be on our way.”

Yeah, right. First Dwyane Wade needs to stop leading the league in turnovers. Then Shaq’s gigantic body somehow heals in this, his 16th NBA season. It’s a terrible sign that he’s been nursing a bum hip after a bad spill. Granted, he hurt it diving for a loose ball, but still. He’s veering into unmistakable old-man territory. The only team in the NBA whose season has flat sucked as hard as Miami’s is the Chicago Bulls. After years of adding young players, Chicago was supposed to be mature enough, finally, to compete for a trip to the Finals. Instead it can’t shoot, can’t defend, and couldn’t keep its coach from getting fired on Christmas Eve. Those boys are either on their way up, or they’re stuck in the same basement as the Heat, who will happily welcome such a mess of a team to the American Airlines Arena (601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Tickets begin at $10. Call 786-777-4667, or visit
Wed., Jan. 16, 2008