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A Real Owner

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It appears Shaq has taken exception to Jerry Buss' comments that the big man needed a trade for motivation to lose 60 pounds.

"I didn't need motivation," O'Neal said. "I needed a real owner. ... I needed a real owner like Micky Arison. You can quote me on it."

A real owner? Micky Arison? What has Micky Arison ever done that's so great? Unnecessarily handing over nearly 10% of his team to Pat Riley and reaching one Eastern Conference final?

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Jerry Buss has won eight NBA titles as an owner. He shelled out $123 million to acquire Shaq in 1996, when that kind of contract was unheard of. He has kept the team under family ownership, made the Lakers the signature franchise of the NBA, has a beautiful daughter, and he dates the hottest UCLA sophomore every year. Now that's a real owner.

Sure, the Shaq trade didn't work out, but Jerry Buss has done more than enough good for Los Angeles, and we're proud he's our team's owner.

As for Shaq, if he didn't need motivation, then why didn't he lose the weight last year? Shaq may be funny. Everyone may love him. But he's still a big baby. He needed Phil Jackson's motivation to get in shape in 1999-2000. His decision to delay toe surgery in 2003 probably cost the Lakers a title. And he still refuses to show any gratitude to the man who paid him almost $150 million for eight years, and gave him almost everything he needed in order to win three rings. Yeah, it ended ugly, but get over it, Shaq. You're still doing great. You got your motivation. Just think before you speak for once.