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The Big Hypocrite

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After accepting a mere $100 million contract from the Miami Heat, Shaq is being praised for his generosity. Shaq's willingness to take less money allowed the Heat to add some much needed depth, by using their capspace to acquire Antoine Walker, Jason Williams, and James Posey."I'm very excited about my new agreement with the Heat," O'Neal said. "This contract allows me to address all of my family's long-term financial goals while allowing the Heat the ability to acquire those players that we need to win a championship."

LAist wants to know why Shaq wasn't saying these things over a year ago, when our beloved Lakers were trying to lock him up while still being able to afford decent role players under the cap. You may remember his famous "pay me" stunt in front of Jerry Buss at an exhibition game in Hawaii. Or his comments during the 2004 Western Conference against the Timberwolves.

"I won't be devalued, never ever devalued," O'Neal said back then. "I'm the one that's bringing in the players anyway. I can bring the players in for no money. I've done that before. I've been the general manager of this team for the last two years. I don't want to hear that about blah-blah-blah because I'm the one that's bringing them in. I'm the one that's making the phone calls to them. Seriously."

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Yeah, we guess Antoine Walker wasn't exactly willing to take "no money," Shaq, when he signed a $53 million deal with the Heat. Remember the Lakers and Shaq were $9 million apart on an extension a year and half ago. Had the two parties agreed on an extension, Shaq would have never been traded. But Shaq was going off saying he refused to be "devalued." The Lakers needed Shaq to take just a little less, so that they could bring in some athletic depth under the salary cap. Their slim bench cost them the NBA Finals against Detroit in 2004. But Shaq insisted he could bring in players for free, which is silly. What a hypocrite.

"Shaquille can name his price," Shaq's agent Perry Rogers said yesterday. "And the price he named was winning ... You get paid the most, but you do it in a way that's not detrimental to what the team wants to accomplish."

The Lakers wanted to win with both Shaq and Kobe, but the big man demanded a trade with his outrageous contract demands not met a year ago. LAist supposes he didn't care about winning when he was on the Lakers, and certainly had no interest in what they were trying to accomplish. It's amazing how the times change.