Wednesday, June 01, 2011

NBA TV reflects on Shaq

From NBA TV -

Notes from the NBA TV Game Time: Shaquille O’Neal Retrospective
Wednesday, June 1

NBA TV’s coverage of The Finals 2011 continues on Thursday, June 2 as the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks square off for Game 2 from Miami. Tune in for pre- and postgame coverage, press conferences, player and coach interviews and everything NBA on NBA TV.

Announcers: Rick Kamla, Steve Smith, Dennis Scott

NBA TV analyst Steve Smith on Shaquille O’Neal: “We have to celebrate his career and it’s been unreal. Not only basketball but he’s one of our ambassadors, one of our great players off-the-court.”

NBA TV host Rick Kamla on Shaquille O’Neal: “It is sad but it’s time to celebrate one of the great careers of all-time.”

NBA TV analyst Dennis Scott on Shaquille O’Neal: “It’s a bittersweet day because I want to continue to see him on the court and dunk on people but it’s also a sweet day for me because I get to hang out more with my best friend.”

Former Orlando Magic teammate Dennis Scott offering his opinion on what Shaquille O’Neal will be doing next in his career: “Shaquille O’Neal will be sitting next to us one day. It’s a no brainer. First of all, he loves Atlanta where NBA TV is and two he still loves the game and wants to be around it.”

Kamla on what Shaquille O’Neal will be doing next in his career: “I think he may be on ‘Dances with the Stars’ one day. He loves to dance.”

Hall of Famer and Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell on Shaquille O’Neal: “When he was a young guy…he said Mr. Russell, ‘What would you tell me to improve my game?’ And I told him, ‘Shaquille, make yourself the best passing center in the league because if you become a great passer…that makes your position easier to play.”

NBA Commissioner David Stern: “He’s a giant…it’s been a great run, we’re going to miss him greatly and we hope we can find ways to keep him involved in the game.”

Hall of Famer and TNT/NBA TV analyst Charles Barkley on Shaquille O’Neal: “I’m glad he decided to retire…because I hated to see him struggle up and down the court this year. But, man, the NBA lost a giant today. He’s a wonderful person and one of the greatest players ever. I tell people, Shaquille O’Neal was the only player I ever saw who I said, ‘Wow, that’s a big dude.’”

Barkley on O’Neal’s legacy among centers all-time: “You got Wilt, Bill Russell, Kareem and then I think you have Shaquille after that.”

Barkley on O’Neal as the face of the League: “It was pretty remarkable that he was able to play as long as he did. Shaquille O’Neal, to be as big as he was, as athletic as he was, is probably one the great marvels of the NBA.”

Barkley on what Shaquille O’Neal will be doing next in his career: “Shaquille’s going to get a TV job because he’s got that type of personality.”

TNT analyst Steve Kerr on Shaquille O’Neal: “What was great was to see him up-close behind-the-scenes with the fans. He used to go to Target late at night…he would go there and, whoever was in line, there’d be like five people in line, he’d say, ‘I got everybody here and he’d pay for everyone’s stuff. He was so generous.”

Kerr on what set Shaq apart: “His physical dominance…to be that big and athletic, and mobile, he was a freak of nature.”

Miami Heat President Pat Riley on Shaquille O’Neal: “I had the chance to coach Kareem, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo and also Shaquille, I loved him dearly when he was here, I love him dearly today. Without him we do not win a championship in 2006.”

NBA TV analyst and Kevin McHale on Shaquille O’Neal: “Shaq put me into retirement. A great ambassador of the game. His personality was as big as he was.”

McHale on his new gig as head coach of the Houston Rockets: “I loved what I did with NBA TV and I got the itch to coach again. They have a lot of players in Houston who like to compete…that really sold me on it.”

Former Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning on Shaquille O’Neal: “Shaq was a walking comic relief. There was never a dull moment.”

Mourning on O’Neal as one of the all-time great centers: “He was bigger than life for that position. He’s got to be in the Top 5 [all-time]…because of the amount of championship he won. Usually guys that are 7-foot, 300 pounds aren’t able to do the things that he’s capable of doing.”

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