As we near the three-quarter mark of the year 2011, it seems that President Barack Obama is being criticized from all sides and being blamed for everything bad that is currently taking place on the Planet. He has been bashed from liberals and conservatives, as the nation keeps lurching from crisis to crisis. Now it appears he is coming under fire from the “World Of Sports” as former NBA center turned TNT broadcaster Shaquille O’Neal has put the blame on the chief executive for the late season shooting woes from Boston Celtics All-Star guard Rajon Rondo.
“Slam On-Line” has reported that the legendary big man and longtime NBA reporter Jackie MacMullan have collaborated on a book entitled “Shaq Uncut” which will be released in mid-November. The book recounts O’Neal’s 19 year career in the Association, and one of the anecdotes he has written about concerns the Celtics getting a chance to meet the President during this past NBA season.
The center wrote “In early March some of the guys went to the museum of Fine Arts for a fund-raiser and got to hang with President Barack Obama. Everyone was a little bit in awe. The President turns to Ray, points at Rondo, and says, “Hey, Ray, why don’t you teach this kid how to shoot?” Everyone starts laughing.
KG told me he saw the look on Rondo’s face and the kid was devastated, embarrassed. Dissed by the President, even though I’m sure Obama didn’t mean any harm. Rondo smiled and went along with all of it, but KG told me he could see it in his eyes. It bothered Rondo. It killed him.
The next day Rondo shot the ball horribly. He stopped taking shots after that. He’s so sensitive. I think it was a real jolt to hear the outside perception of a basketball fan who happens to be the President of the United States. It messed with his mind. I’m sure of it.”
Now I like a good conspiracy theory as much as anybody else in this country; but to try to pin the blame of the point guard’s troubles on the court to a remark made in jest by the President, is truly beyond far-fetched. If anything affected Rondo mentally down the stretch, it was most likely the trade of his best friend center Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder in February. However, Shaq’s version of last season will most likely sell more books. He was a great self-promoter as a player, and most likely will become far more adept at that now that he is a member of the media.