posted on Nov, 1 2004 @ 06:33 PM
so here is a guy who is hurt a lot, can't be bothered to practice free throws, and can't sing and he is making HOW MUCH????? miami fans hang on to
Van Gundy concerned over injured O'Neal's limited practice time
By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Sports Writer
November 1, 2004
MIAMI (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal remains bothered by a strained left hamstring, yet the 11-time All-Star center hopes to play Wednesday when Miami opens
its season at New Jersey.
O'Neal missed most of Miami's practice Monday, sparking concerns that the injury is worse than feared. The Heat, however, did not place O'Neal on the
injured list, indicating they believe the problem is minor.
Still, Heat coach Stan Van Gundy was clearly disappointed that O'Neal -- who sat out practices Friday and Saturday, and missed three of Miami's seven
preseason games -- wasn't able to participate in Monday's workout.
O'Neal took part in some defensive drills, but wasn't on the floor for 5-on-5 work.
``We thought we'd have him back full today, and we didn't,'' Van Gundy said. ``It's a concern from the sense that obviously his health is the biggest
thing, and the second thing is we haven't practiced with him in a long, long time. That obviously, in terms of our offense, affects what we're
O'Neal, acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in an offseason trade, was not made available to reporters.
He's been slowed by the hamstring problem for more than two weeks. And his durability has been questioned throughout the latter portion of his career,
with various foot and leg injuries forcing him out of 15 games in each of the last three seasons.
Last week, the 7-foot-1 center who now lists himself at 327 pounds insisted he'd be ready to start the season. Van Gundy sounded less certain Monday,
both about O'Neal's availability for Tuesday's practice or Wednesday's game at the Nets.
``I don't have any way of knowing about that,'' Van Gundy said. ``I know his expectation is he'll be ready to play.''
Miami trimmed its active roster to 12 players Monday, placing Dorell Wright (abdominal strain), Jerome Beasley (lower back strain) and Matt Freije
(upper respiratory infection) on the injured list. If the Heat opted to place O'Neal on that list, he would have missed five games.
Not only would that have been an on-court blow, such a move would have been a marketing disaster considering that O'Neal's arrival in South Florida
spurred fans to purchase virtually every available ticket before the season officially began.
With or without the prized offseason acquisition, Van Gundy said his team will be ready to start the season.
``The guys we have coming back from last year, and even the veteran guys we brought in, know you play a lot of nights without your entire lineup,'' he