Does He Go by “Shaq Ethanol” Now?

 

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 (Photo Courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway)

Just when you thought Shaquille O’Neal had run out of firsts, “Diesel” trumps us again during his summer vacation.

 

The All-Star Suns center served as Grand Marshal for the Bombardier Learjet 550k at the Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, while also trying his hand as a member of a pit crew during a simulated pit stop prior to the IndyCar Series race. Armed with an air wrench, Shaq reportedly weathered some early challenges to finally get the better of one of the 50-pound tire changes.

 

The big man also joined three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford in the pace car that led the field to the green flag, tipping off the start of the race.

 

“It was phenomenal,” O’Neal told the Texas Motor Speedway. “I can see why it’s the No. 1 sport. I feel like a little kid in a candy store.

 

“When it comes to being an athlete, of course it’s nice to have the physical part but being an athlete is more mental than anything. It’s not easy driving 228 laps trying to be safe and from that point of view I would say they are phenomenal athletes.”

 

 

To read more about Shaq’s appearance at the Texas Motor Speedway, CLICK HERE.

Matt Barnes Says Goodbye to 2008-09 Season

Matt Barnes lists playing with Grant Hill among his highlights of the 2008-09 season.

Hey fans, just wanted to make sure I check back in with you before this 2008-09 season comes to an end. You know, it’s kind of tough to swallow, having all of the talent we have here and to still be going home in a couple of days. I know the team is frustrated but right now our focus is on finishing the season strong. We owe that to our fans and want to be able to give the young guys a little bit of time to play. [Read more...]

Obama Receives Shaq Shoe Upon Arrival in Phoenix

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When President Barack Obama arrived in Phoenix on Tuesday, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon gave him what may be his most unique gift in the short time he has been president:  a shoe signed by Shaquille O’Neal.

Gordon’s son, Jake, held the shoe while he was waiting for Obama to arrive and the shoe covered his entire chest.  When the President exited the plane, he was greeted by several people and was given the shoe.  According to HuffingtonPost.com, Obama grinned as he put the Shaq shoe next to his own.  Since he is such a big basketball fan, maybe the next gift he should receive when he comes to Arizona is a chance to suit up and practice with the Suns.

See all of the pictures of President Obama’s arrival at sports.ktar.com.

Movin' on Up

 

Yes, there was a little extra spring in the ol’ step today, and the sky seemed even sunnier than usual.

That’s because tonight’s game had a little more personal anticipation attached to it. Namely, Suns.com finally got some front-row love at the game… okay second row, but for the first time the official online home of the Suns got to see things up close and personal with lower-level press box seating. [Read more...]

A Silver Lining

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It was muttered amongst the media. It was silently understood by some in the locker room. It is currently being shouted by fans on the Planet Orange message boards and outside the US Airways Center. “Typical.”

The Suns/Spurs dysfunctional relationship may have hung a loss on the Suns’ record, but there are a couple differences that point to a silver lining.

[Read more...]

Welcoming J-Rich to the Valley

(Rocky Widner/NBAE Photos/Getty Images)

(Rocky Widner/NBAE Photos/Getty Images)

Hey, Suns fans. I had some time in between ballgames today and just wanted to check in following a tough loss last night in Los Angeles. We were obviously short-handed for the contest following the trade and while I’m not somebody who really believes in moral victories, I was glad to see us out there fighting hard to the end. The bottom line is we still came up a little bit short, but we again showed improvement and I definitely think we’re continuing to take steps in the right direction.

[Read more...]

There's Good News and There's Bad News…

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images)

It’s good news/bad news time already.

I realize some of you are saying it’s awfully early to break out the old BN/GN bromide to cure a headache,  and those who aren’t saying that are grumbling, “What GOOD news?”  But in the current philosophical idiom in sports it is what it is. So… [Read more...]

By the Numbers: Phoenix Suns vs San Antonio Spurs

(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

(D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images)

The NBA Championship is not won with just one win.

I knew what I wanted to talk about before the game even started this evening.  If the Suns had lost, my first sentence would have been “The sky is not falling with just one loss.”  Coach Porter, the Suns front office and the players have all said that this team is a work in progress.  The Spurs were missing Manu Ginobili in this game.  And now that Coach Porter’s new schemes are out “in the wild,” opponents will find ways to stop the team’s set plays. [Read more...]

Pre-season is Over; Now for the Real Test

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/ Getty Images)

(Barry Gossage/NBAE/ Getty Images)

So, the mercifully short pre-season preparation for the regular season is over, and the interminably long regular season preparation for the post-season will officially get underway in San Antonio this Wednesday.

And frankly, I can hardly wait. For the post-season, I mean. I say this because we won’t know for sure until then whether Year One of going back to thinking INSIDE the box after four years of exhilarating – albeit ultimately somewhat unfulfilling – thinking outside the box, will work or not. [Read more...]

Shaq Shines

The buzzword around the Suns these days is “Patience.”  It will be a process and a journey with a brand new system implemented by Terry Porter.  There are times when the team struggles with the new half-court sets and the “push your man baseline” defensive concepts.  But through repetition and commitment to The Porter Principles, you can see progress every day.  And the model student at class is one of the oldest:  Shaquille O’Neal. [Read more...]