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InsideHoops [NBA Playoffs]

Shaq O'Neal Finals Interview




| June 20, 2006

Shaquille O'NealIn the 2006 NBA Finals the Miami Heat lead the Dallas Mavericks three games to two. Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) are in Dallas. The Heat won Game 5 in overtime, and here's what center Shaquille O'Neal said in the post-game press conference:

Q. Shaquille, talk about you guys holding serve here and going back to Dallas with the lead.

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Yeah, they took care of business at home. We took care of business at home, and now we just have to try to go there and just win the first one that we play.

Q. Can you talk about there was a story that your house was broken into and you stopped the guy with a tazer, can you enlighten us on that?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: This morning there was a guy who was beaten up in front of my house. I just gave him some assistance. I just called the ambulance and called the cops.

Q. He was beaten up in front of your house?


Q. You just went out and helped the guy, that's what happened?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Yes, sir. And no, I didn't beat him up. (Laughter).

Q. You guys became only the second team in history to win all three games at home. How does it feel to be one game away from delivering the promise of the NBA Championship to Miami?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: It feels pretty good. But I told the guys that the job is not done yet. We want to enjoy this win tonight, but, you know, we've still got to go to a hostile arena in Dallas and take care of business. And we look forward to doing it.

Q. How frustrating has it been to have to sit out possessions?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I mean, I've really been through that before. You know, I understand what Coach is doing. He's just playing the percentages. But, you know, D-Wade, he had my back tonight. He was a fabulous player, and everyone just played. No, I've been in the league 13 years, I've been in every situation. You know, I just try to do the other things well. I still shot the ball pretty well from the field. I still rebounded, still played some pretty good defense. And we've just got to keep playing, just got to keep playing. We've, you know, we've seen it all. We've seen it all, we've done it all, we've been through it all.

Q. Can you describe the faith you have in Dwyane taking that last shot in overtime as he's driving to the basket?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I have a lot of faith in him. We all have faith in him. We just give him the ball and he does what he does. He's a very unselfish player, a very great player. He started off slow, but, you know, when he starts off slow, you have to worry about him heating up. It's not too many times that he starts off slow and he stays, you know, slow. So he just heated up at the right time, and, you know, we played a fabulous game and everybody played well. You know, Dwyane is just a fabulous player.

Q. How would you describe how he responds to pressure with those two free throws at the end, maybe compared to some other players?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: He's the best right now and that's all you can say. He's the best.

Q. What's up big fella. Can you describe the feeling that was going through you whenG.P. made that shot? I mean, the guy had been here twice and came away empty, you was with him in Los Angeles.

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I mean, it's a big, big shot for G.P. He stumbled a little bit and he laid up with the left and I was right there for the rebound and it just went in. I think at that point that put us up by one, and then Dirk came down and hit a tough shot over Udonis and me to put them up by one. So, you know, he's been playing great. He's been good all year, helping out Dwyane, helping out some of the other younger guards and I'm happy for Gary right now.

Q. If you guys win the next game, would you consider retirement?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Not really. I mean, I have four years left -- and you know, I'll probably just, you know, play out my four years. Then I don't know what I'll do. I'll probably start dressing like him. (Laughter).

Q. Was it frustrating dealing with the hack-a-Shaq thing?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: No, I just really wanted to hit him, it felt good leaving my hand but it just didn't go in today. Dwyane Wade, he had a fabulous game. He stuck up for me. I told him that I owe him one.

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