Shaq Gives Us A Fitting Ending; Madness Takes Over NYC

It’s officially over. Shaq Diesel is done. For as long as he’s stayed in the spotlight and for all that he’s milked it for, O’Neal’s press conference speech was interestingly speedy. He must’ve had one sentence on each one of those index cards because he was flipping through them at will. He thanked everyone, from his family to his college coach to Phil Jackson to the media for the way they treated him over the years. And what would have been a Shaq press conference without a gimmick? Just as he sat down, he fielded a fake phone call from the Knicks asking him to come be their general manager … He left us with this quote: “Be leaders and not followers” … It’s a day of sadness for New York Knicks’ fans. The one person that represented something other than mediocrity and dysfunction was Donnie Walsh and now he’s gone. It was reported that Walsh, who refuses to get involved with a project unless he’s on 24/7, going 100%, couldn’t agree to terms with James Dolan on the number of years in an extension. Dolan wanted multiple years; Walsh just one. Despite saying he has no interest, imagine if Isiah Thomas returns to command his post, offers Eddy Curry a six-year contract with bonuses for checking in with less than 40 percent body fat, and trades every Knick draft pick until 2027 for Hedo Turkoglu … New York papers reported that Dolan asked Walsh to submit a list of potential general manager replacements and one of them was Mark Jackson. Mama, there goes that man! … It’s always fun to play the “What if?” game. Like what if Chris Mullin could jump? Well, what if the Lakers had traded Kobe for Grant Hill way back when, as Charley Rosen told us? Kobe’s legacy would obviously be much different right now. But so would Shaq’s … Despite the sale of the team and potentially massive changes on the horizon, Detroit’s Joe Dumars will stay on as GM. He blamed the up-in-the-air state of the team for affecting their ability to make changes to improve over the last year or so. Joe, that still doesn’t excuse you for booking Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon for a combined $100 million. The grace period doesn’t date back that far … Something that we guarantee happens within the next year or so: Someone trades for Jonny Flynn this summer for the rights to some scrub like Pape Sy, and Flynn reverts back to his rookie year form when he looked like he was going to be a better-than-decent player. The triangle is a terrible fit for him and he never recovered this season from offseason hip surgery. Somebody should jump on this (Phoenix is interested) … There’s nothing better than a kid who is told he can’t make it, and yet still works his butt off to do just that. Check out this amazing story of Michael Dunigan … There’s also nothing better than an eight-year-old girl reading Nate Robinson‘s tweets … Sounds like LeBron is investing in a high-end retail store opening this fall in Miami called “Unknwn.” Are they selling rings there? … If you’re a sneakerhead, you better be following @agentzeroshow and @thesneakerchamp because Gil Arenas is giving away sneakers. Lots of them. You can follow and answer questions for the chance to win all the sneakers Arenas sat on the bench in this year … Former NBA player Terrell Brandon wants to be considered for Portland’s GM position. He would be the first person in history to make the move from barber to NBA executive. But he says he has the requisite experience. He did learn first-hand all about running a winning franchise from Kevin McHale in Minnesota … And with one shot to win, who would you want to take it: Dirk, Wade or LeBron? … We’re out like Walsh and sanity in New York.

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