It's called the Deerfield Beach Insider and you can check it out here. The person running it is a mystery, but Mayor Al Capellini better watch his back, because DBI is charging hard into the corruption in that city, keeping daily tabs on a scandal emerging on a new Public Works building that is plagued by mismanagement and missing money. I'm going to link the site at right soon.
-- Say what you will about the most recent police shooting involving two teenagers who were mistaken as car thieves. Say the kids shouldn't have taken them on a long car chase, whether they were scared or not. Say the kids deserve to be severely punished. But don't say that any decently trained police officer would have taken an unarmed 15-year-old out of a car and shot
him. It's obscene. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is out of control and until the cops and the public realize and admit that, these shootings aren't going to stop.
-- Now let's move on to Greg Cote's rather schizoid piece on Shaquille O'Neal. The Miami Herald columnist, who unlike so many South Florida sportwriters actually possesses a sense of humor, says there are three reasons to consider unloading Shaq in the offseason: "sheer panic, gross overreaction and certifiable insanity."
He then says that the idea of throwing Shaq overboard has been "limited to blog and fan-forum chatter from the lunatic fringe" (of which the the Pulp is a proud card-carrying member) until a Chicago Tribune columnist brought up the idea on Monday. Then Cote suddenly seems to realize it's not so crazy after all.
"From Miami's vantage, you wouldn't and shouldn't put Shaq, at 35, in the same untouchable category as Wade. You couldn't blame Pat Riley for listening if the phone rang. But anybody who knows Riley knows Miami would not even remotely consider trading O'Neal unless in return came a legitimate 15-point low-post presence to keep Miami from becoming just a perimeter team, in addition to something resembling a point guard answer."
You're starting to get the picture, Greg (although I wouldn't obsess so much on a point guard). I love it when you can see a writer's reason coming to maturity as a single piece of writing progresses. The idea is that you get a load of talent for a team dying to have the oh-so-charming Shaq grace their city and rumble up and down their basketball court. The truth is that Shaq has been lackluster in all three playoffs he's been involved in as a Heat player. How many times have you read Dave Hyde lamenting about how the Heat don't get Shaq the ball down the stretch. Yet it never happens. Why? Because Shaq is too tired during the stretch and he can't hit free throws. It's a death trap.
The championship last season was due to Wade as Superman carrying the entire team on his back. Not Shaq. And the center doesn't even play during the regular season. Now, for $20 million you can two first-rate players to support Wade instead of a half player like Shaq. The Big Fella can't run, he can't move very well, has been plagued with injuries, and he's short-arming his shots on a regular basis. The teams left in the playoffs -- especially Golden State and Phoenix -- would run the Heat off the court with him in tow.
Of course, you don't unload Shaq unless you get a couple of special players. If you don't get what you want, keep him. After this year's embarrassment, Shaq might actually be motivated to really play. Finally.