The Chicago Tribune’s blog hatin’ Sam Smith isn’t satisfied with spreading a rumor (“I was just writing out loud, as I sometimes do,”) the Heat were eager to deal Shaquille O’Neal (above). He’s also just a little proud of Shaq’s alleged umbrage at said claim.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that Shaq called the Heat offices last Monday to check if he was being traded. Heat coach Pat Riley assured Shaq he was not and then said:

“The last thing on our minds right now is to trade him. We want to try to put players around him. Shaq has made this franchise matter. We won a world championship with Shaquille. He’s been very good for business and the community.”

Reassured, Shaq went back to planning his injury absences for next season, but before that, at a team function at the AmericanAirlines Arena, he said, “Obviously, it’s an idiot like Sam stirring up trouble.”

O’Neal said local media “should be spanked” for picking up the suggestion.

“Sam has no credibility after this,” he added.

Though he did check with the Heat pretty quickly.

“I promise he wouldn’t say that to my face in a dark alley, where it’s just me and him and no witnesses,” Shaq warned. “I guarantee he wouldn’t say that to me, guarantee it.”

Anyone got my back?

“Sam is an idiot”i-d-o-u-t”idiot,” Shaq added in also pulling out of the national spelling bee.

Detroit Bad Boys’ Matt Watson
finds some solace despite the Bulls actually managing to play all 4 quarters against the Pistons yesterdayy.

It was bound to happen sooner or later ” despite their best efforts to convince you otherwise in the first three games, the Bulls are in fact a good team. Certainly not a title contender, no, but definitely a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs. Besides, the silver lining (there isn™t one, I™m being kind) is that ticket-holders for Game 5 now have a chance to see the Pistons clinch the series at home on Tuesday.

Golden State Of Mind does a fair job trying to come to grips with the superiority of the Utah Jazz : “They might play painfully slow, ugly, dirty, and very physical, but tonight they handled business in the NBA’s toughest arena.” And improbably, Carlos Boozer has repaired far more than his reputation — with Utah 48 minutes away from claiming a ticket to the Assocation’s Final Four, it is so far fetched to insist they’re a team neither San Antonio nor Phoenix should be eager to face?