24 April 2007

ESPN's Chris Sheridan: Shaq Nearly Took Scott Skiles' Head Off

As a diversion from the Magic's 2-0 playoff deficit to the Pistons, I thought I'd pass along this article about Scott Skiles and Shaquille O'Neal by Chris Sheridan, an ESPN NBA Insider. In light of tonight's playoff game between the Chicago Bulls, who are coached by Skiles, and the Miami Heat, for which O'Neal plays, Sheridan decided to investigate a fight that took place between the two when they were members of the Magic. Here's a primer:

"[Skiles] always got under my skin. He was like a little gnat," O'Neal said. "He just used to talk too much. Talk about nothing."

O'Neal gave me that quote with a sly grin on his face, no doubt remembering the time the two of them wound up wrestling on the floor at a gym in Los Angeles back in 1994 when Skiles was a wily old veteran and O'Neal was in his second season as a pro, playing for the Orlando Magic.

"He swung, but I ducked under it and ended up in kind of a headlock," Skiles told me Monday morning when I asked him to retell the story of the day Shaq threw a punch at him and he lived to tell about it.

It's an interesting and hilarious read. I wish I were old enough to remember those days.

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