Shaq Rips Mo Williams, Surprising No One
In parallel, Shaquille O'Neal has never left a place without tossing a Molotov cocktail over his shoulder on the way out. (This includes all Applebee's restaurants and Chevron restrooms.) Shaq famously continued to feud with Kobe Bryant after being traded to Miami, ripped the Heat when he was traded to Phoenix and made cracks about the lack of Suns defense upon being traded to Cleveland. I believe this falls under the jurisdiction of Big Man Ordinance Code 2413: "It's everyone else's fault."
These cosmic narratives have crashed into each other. Shaq, charitably golfing in Louisiana, told John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, that Williams shot too much last season. More precisely, Shaq said, "When I was with Cleveland, guys who couldn't even play were worried about shots. Why was Mo taking 15 shots, and I'm only taking four?" O'Neal thus implied that Williams is not just a selfish player, but also a bad player, and one whose shot-taking greed hurt the team.
For the record, Williams averaged 12.4 field goal attempts a game, while Shaq 8.7. If you adjust for the fact Mo played a bunch of minutes (34 a game) while O'Neal stayed rested (23 minutes a game), Shaq actually shot more frequently than his diminutive point guard, with 13.4 attempts per 36 minutes for O'Neal and 13.0 for Williams. And Shaq's role grew in the postseason: Williams took 127 FGAs in 411 minutes (11.1 per 36 minutes), while O'Neal took 93 in 243 (13.7 per 36 minutes).
That Mo Williams ended up shooting more times per game than a 38-year-old Shaq has no relevance in itself as to the reasons for the Cavs' disappointing finish. The two do happen to factor prominently in the downfall of Cleveland, however: both played atrocious defense down the stretch, and Boston's offense was able to play over its head a few games in the Eastern semifinals. But even there, Brown had no option but to play Williams heavy minutes due to a lack of depth at point guard. The Cavs were quite deep up front, and Shaq took away minutes from ace defender Anderson Varejao, owing mainly to O'Neal's big name. If anything, perhaps Mo ought to be blaming Shaq's heavier-than-needed playing time for Cleveland's flame-out.
But that wouldn't happen, because unlike O'Neal, Williams apparently doesn't talk to hear the sound of his voice, and doesn't refuse to publicly acknowledge his own shortcomings when things get real. And even if Mo did strike back, it wouldn't garner the attention Shaq's Molotov will, because Shaq is Shaq, and in this game a name is all you need. What a shame.