Culture of Hoops

But, Shaquille O’Neal, the New York Knicks have

Recently, certain statements were made by Shaquille O’Neal in regards to the lack of cohesion between New York Knicks stars, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Mr. O’Neal suggested that the aforementioned Knickerbockers need to take things more personal, be angry, get more meat on those basketball bones and more air in the… I think you get the point.

But, what Shaq needs to understand is… they’ve done this already.

I thought that was glaringly obvious. Every time these players step out on the court, there’s a transformation. They become something else. Said transformation can be defined as taking things personally, but it’s not limited to just that one definition. You’re out there to yes, win the game, but there’s more to it than just that. It’s called respect. The other team is the enemy. Losing to the opposing team would be a taint on your reputation. It doesn’t get more personal than thinking kill or be killed. That ever-present mentality is how these players take things to the next level.

The NBA legend formerly known as The Big Galactus feels that against NBA champs Dwyane Wade and Lebron James, Melo should take it personally, as if he is the least loved of the trio. You don’t think Melo is doing that? Whenever the best of the best clash it’s more than personal and when Melo plays against the dynamic duo of South Beach, it’s more than just street cred or bragging rights, these boys sincerely want to play well against each other. That’s how players get better. Isn’t this common knowledge?

Because I have zero playing experience in both collegiate and professional basketball (my organized basketball experience met its end upon high school graduation) doesn’t mean my little argument warrants a dismissal. I breathe basketball. The best way to avoid all of the haters who read too much into what their eyes are seeing would be to present my argument in a different light: If I were in Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire’s sneakers, I would…

“…avoid taking things to an ominous level. Hype and bars being raised higher and higher never bode well for many professional athletes. Wouldn’t you agree? While some persevere, the rest just end up being diagnosed as mentally incapable.”

Too harsh? I’m just sayin’…

Long story short, yadda, yadda, yadda, don’t feed into all of the malarkey. You feed it and it will never go away. You’re in a good place. You get to do what you love while getting paid to do it. Your lives are one big catered event. Don’t single yourself out on the court by “taking things more personally;” that sounds to me like a little bit of bad business.

Shaquille recognized some potential with Amar’e and Carmelo stating that they’ve “done okay… But in New York, okay is not good enough.” You know what else isn’t good enough in New York?

A: Subway service from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Below average.

I’m just sayin’…

You can e-mail me at [email protected].

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