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Shaq Fires Back at Van Gundy for Calling a Flop a Flop

Mar 4, 2009 – 7:30 PM
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Matt Watson

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As Basketbawful points out, Shaquille O'Neal has finally joined the flopternity after years of making fun of opposing big men flopping. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, who coached Shaq during their time together in Miami, didn't let The Big Hypocrite's sudden loss of balance go unnoticed in his post-game comments.
``I was shocked, seriously, shocked,'' Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said of O'Neal's flopping. ``And very disappointed cause he knows what it's like. Lets stand up and play like men, and I think our guy did that tonight.''
As fun-loving and hilarious as Shaq may be, he's never let criticism go unchecked. Just like always does (see: Bosh, Chris), he responded by lobbing demeaning insults:
"One thing I really despise is a frontrunner," O'Neal said before the Suns played the Heat, Shaq's first time back in Miami since last season's trade. "I know for a fact he's a master of panic and when it gets time for his team to go into the postseason and do certain things, he will let them down because of his panic. I've been there before. I've played for him."

[...] "Flopping is playing like that your whole career," O'Neal said. "I was trying to take a charge, trying to get a call. Yeah, it probably was a flop, but flopping is wrong. Flopping would describe his coaching."
There's definitely two sides to Shaq: the happy, funny, increasingly accessible side that the fans eat up, and the overly sensitive and ego driven side that opposing players face on the court. And that's fine -- NBA players are real people, they're supposed to be complex -- but it's also kind of annoying.

He flopped, everyone saw it, and he even admitted it -- so why make it personal by taking irrelevant pot shots? (How is calling a flop a flop being a frontrunner? What does it have to do with Van Gundy's playoff record?) It's petty and unnecessary.
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