Shaquille O’Neal‘s movies make us want to wince (did you know he’s been in seven films?) but it doesn’t mean the big screen is out of his future. And we’re not talking about his cameo in “Grown Ups 2” he’s got coming up. The Big Aristotle became The Big Projector on Friday when his newly renovated movie theater, the CityPlex 12, he co-owns in downtown Newark opened. Reports said it added six screens to the complex, which is cool. Is this a start to a Magic Johnson-blueprint business plan for his Shaqness, who grew up in Newark? We’re not so sure about his long-range plans in the silver screen business. We do know, however, that the re-opening of the theater kicked off “30 Days of Shaqness” that offered customers discounts and even autographed Shaq stuff. … You can’t keep Shaq out of the news. His opinion, as offered to ESPN New York, is that NYC will “probably not” become a town partial those Brooklyn Nets. He’s right, if a little understated, when he says the Nets got better by adding Joe Johnson and keeping MarShon Brooks, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams, but he doesn’t see it turning the tide of opinion in NYC, which is saying a lot. Make no mistake, Brooklyn wants to be the “it” team that will become a status symbol if celebrities and newsmakers show up (why else bring on Jay-Z as minority owner?). Shaq counters that NYK’s already got the “it” factor(s): Carmelo and STAT. They just need to be more aggressive and basically, more pissed off that they’re not considered clutch stars, he said, asking them to take it “more personally.” Well, talent certainly isn’t the issue with the Knicks’ leaders, but it’s that leadership thing we’re not sold about. That said, if they can get into the second round of the playoffs they’ll be a team you do not want to face. … For our money there wasn’t a better story of the early season last year when Ivan Johnson started tearing up games for Atlanta out of nowhere. Forget that that stretch didn’t last long and that his grill took a backseat to his questionable offensive skillset, Johnson was a League Pass must-see TV in early January. Good news is he’s back in the NBA after signing back with Atlanta on Friday. He’s getting one year and $960,000-plus. He’d been to four colleges, banned from the Korean League and made the D-League his personal punishment zone before latching on with ATL. Do your thing, Ivan. … Rick Carlisle‘s two seasons with Chauncey Billups in Detroit persuaded Billups to recommend Dallas as O.J. Mayo’s free agency landing. Mayo went to the mountaintop to ask the point guard guru and Billups said Carlisle’s offense could showcase him. Is this the year he becomes an All-Star? … Hit the jump to read about where might Chris Bosh might play this season.
Remember when Chris Bosh left Toronto and the center job behind at the U.S.-Canada border? A title has helped warm him to the idea of going back to the five at times this season. The Heat were 36-19 last season when Bosh was at power forward and Joel Anthony was at center, and the plus-minus of those were all positive. The lineup Miami used most included that arrangement with a whopping +108, while the second and third most-used lineups — find ’em here — combined barely broke into positive territory. Anthony isn’t The Dream in the low block but it apparently works. … Matt Barnes picked up his belongings from one Staples Center locker room and walked down the hall to join his new club, the Clippers. Barnes played for about half a season with LAC before nine years ago, but what’s notable about this transaction is that it reminds us he’s played for all four California NBA teams in his career. … Elliot Williams, we hardly knew ya. The one-time first round pick from Memphis is going to miss his second full season (out of a possible three) due to injury, this time it being a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Williams showed flashes last season of scoring in bunches that made you want to catch his playing time, limited as it was. Fast recovery E-Will. … Dwyane Wade thinks Miami won an imaginary title last June, too: Best Dressed In The Finals. To Maxim, he said: “We’re way better dressers than they are.” We’re actually a little scared to see Russ Westbrook‘s response. He’s going to break out all the teddy bear shirts and fish hook polos and go crazy now. … Finally we’re written extensively here about this was the summer of the older player in the NBA, but the underrated hero of the summer of 2012 has been Doug Collins. Every interview he’s given he’s been relentlessly upbeat about the state of the Sixers and how much he loved the moves they made while the rest of us are, shall we say, skeptical. This could be the coup de grace of confidence, though: he has “zero concern” with Andrew Bynum‘s maturity issues, he told the Philly Daily News. We’re not hating on Bynum or Collins, we just want this “debate” about who’s better between him and Dwight Howard to actually be something that’s not completely one-sided. Maybe Collins is the guy to get that done. … We’re out like Ivan.
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