Phoenix Suns

Shaq stars in "Plays of Our Lives"

Until Shaquille O’Neal takes to the court for Phoenix and proves he’s got a little Kareem in him like everybody seems to think, there are going to be plenty of doubters who feel the Suns got raw-dogged in the deal. But, for better or worse, the deal is done. We just didn’t realize exactly how much drama went into getting Shawn Marion to South Beach and Shaq into the desert.

Did Marion just say “I’m a man“??

Phoenix Suns

Bill Walton and Shaq won’t be sending Valentines to each other this year

For as goofy and outlandish as Bill Walton is, the guy knows his basketball and on Sunday he weighed in on the Shaquille O’Neal trade. Now, normally, people don’t even pay attention to the Big Redhead – heck, we get the feeling his own partners in the studio tune him out for about half the show – but, not the Diesel. Nope, Shaq hears all.

He really can’t win in this situation,” Walton said of O’Neal. “Because what he did in Miami by saying, ‘I can’t play at all,’ and now it’s, ‘I’m going to win the championship (in Phoenix).’ That is just absolutely ludicrous. Shaq’s arrogance is an insult to people who think.

Wait, did somebody say insult?

O’Neal’s response: “Bill Walton has broken the Big Man Pecking Order Code — Ordinance 2257 — which means his resume isn’t quite good enough to speak on what I have done.

“One thing I hate is a hypocrite. So if I’m faking an injury, his whole injury-plagued career is a fake. Here’s a guy who only played one or two seasons injury-free, and now he’s talking about me being injured. So, one thing I really hate is a hypocrite.

In 16 years, Shaq has earned the right to say whatever he wants to whoever he wants, but we gotta side with the Dead Head on this one. Walton can’t even sniff Shaq’s jock when it comes to statistics and career accomplishments, but he’s got every right to say O’Neal was loafing in Miami… because it certainly appears that he WAS!

C’mon Shaq; you missed 17 games for a Miami squad that has a horrible record, but now you’re suddenly healthy enough to run with the Phoenix Suns?!?! And don’t try to give us that B.S. about the amazing attributes of the Suns training staff. Shaq has proven over and over and over again during his career that he hates to lose and he’s proven he’ll turn on anyone once the crap hits the fan. This is just the latest case. To say otherwise is simply an insult to people who think.


[]: Shaq battles back

Phoenix Suns

Around the Rim: Suns-Spurs showdown

1. Suns shine
The Suns received a measure of revenge against their nemesis on Monday by handing the Spurs their first home loss of the season, 100-95. While the win doesn’t erase the painful memories of being eliminated by San Antonio in last year’s playoffs, it was a huge confidence booster for a slumping Suns team. Phoenix lost three of four games before knocking off the champs, including embarrassing losses to Minnesota and Miami. Despite winning, the Suns had absolutely no answer for Tim Duncan who posted season-highs of 36 points and 17 rebounds as the Spurs played without Tony Parker for the third consecutive game. Steve Nash came up a pair of rebounds short of a triple double, scoring 10, dishing 10 and boarding eight. With the win, Phoenix is now just half a game behind San Antonio for the current title of “Best in the West.”

2. Disappearing act

Dwight Howard was unstoppable in the first quarter against Dallas, scoring 16 points in the opening period. Unfortunately, the game still had three more quarters left and Howard basically got shut out during the final 36 minutes while Dirk Nowitzki blew up when it mattered. After the quick start, Howard scored just six more points, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds while Nowitzki put up 11 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth, leading the Mavericks to a 111-108 victory in Dallas. Orlando started the season on fire, but has dramatically cooled of late, losing five of their last six games. However, the Magic can’t focus on the past with games against Houston, Utah and Boston staring them in the face.

3. Upset city
It had been five years since the Hawks beat the Jazz, but streaks are meant to be broken and last night it happened. Joe Johnson led the way offensively for Atlanta, scoring 26, and the Hawks ended their futility against Utah with a 116-111 victory. Carlos Boozer had 39 points and 12 rebounds in defeat as the Jazz dropped their seventh game in eight tries with the only win coming against Seattle. Atlanta, on the other hand, is making an early playoff push. There’s still a whole lotta season left for the Hawks to choke away a city’s hopes and dreams, but considering their history, any playoff push is a good playoff push. Currently, the Hawks are 12-12, good enough for the conference’s seventh best record.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Tim Duncan vs. Phoenix 36 min, 36 pts (FG: 15-25, FT: 6-8), 17 reb, 3 ast, 1 blk

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Los Angeles Lakers (14-9) @ Chicago (8-13)
The Bulls are probably wishing they pulled the trigger on the trade for Kobe Bryant because their offense is one of the most anemic in the league. Averaging just 92.0 points per game, only Charlotte and New Jersey have a harder time putting the ball in the hoop. Meanwhile, Bryant is the league’s second best scorer, averaging 27.2 per game. If the Bulls aren’t careful, this game could get away from them pretty easily and become the Bryant show in the house that Michael built. Ben Wallace has to step up defensively for the Bulls and Luol Deng and Ben Gordon have to show their coach that he made the right decision in not packaging them for Kobe. And for a little extra motivation, Los Angeles whopped the Bulls by 28 points a month ago in Hollywood.

Buzzer Beater: We know it’s a tough thing to admit, but acceptance is the first step in recovery. And on Monday night, Isiah Thomas finally came to grip with the fact that his Knicks are gutless.

Tonight was very discouraging to me because we didn’t collectively play with heart,” Thomas said after the Knicks were clobbered by the Pacers, 119-92. “I think we have the talent, but just because you have the talent and skill doesn’t necessarily mean you have the heart. … For whatever reason, we just stopped competing; we just stopped playing with pride.

In other words, they are a bunch of “sunts“.

Phoenix Suns

Around the Rim: Toothless aggression

Say cheese! Uh, nevermind.

1. For once, Steve Nash didn’t bleed
Remember a few years back when Karl Malone delivered one of his patented elbows to the mug of a pre-MVP, Maverick’s jersey clad Steve Nash? Well, it was déjà vu all over again for Nashty last night when the Mailman 2.0, Carlos Boozer, delivered one of his man-sized elbows to Nash’s choppers, chipping the point guard’s front tooth right before halftime. Hey, at least Nash is capable of transforming his pain into our pleasure. Looking like a true Canadian, Nash went on to score 29 points and dish out 11 assists in the Suns 103-98 home victory. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Suns while extending the Jazz’s skid to a whopping five games. Boozer did all he could, including inadvertently making Nash’s smile as repulsive as his floppy hair, scoring 24 and grabbing 13 boards, but it wasn’t to be for Utah. The Jazz’s next opportunity to get a win comes on Friday when they travel to Portland and play against a team that won in Salt Lake City by eight points on Tuesday.

2. Ming’s motivation

Yao Ming stepped up and called out his club the other day, saying they were a bunch of softies. It turned out to be a good move because the Rockets ended up showing a little heart and won a grind-it-out game against a tough Detroit team, 80-77. Anytime someone calls out their teammates, that person has to produce and Yao did just that, scoring 21 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. And it always helps when your amigos buy in, which is what Tracy McGrady did, finishing with a game-high 29 points. Even though it was a gutsy victory, it wasn’t exactly pretty. Houston shot a pathetic 6-of-22 from the charity stripe that was spearheaded by McGrady’s 0-for-5 performance.

3. No point guard, no problem
T.J. Ford couldn’t play in Wednesday night’s game after he took a nasty, head-cracking fall on Tuesday, but the Raptors didn’t need their little big man as they spanked Dallas 92-76. Yup, the Mavericks could only muster up 76 measly points as they shot just .385. The reigning MVP continues to struggle with his consistency and just one game after dropping a season-high 36 on the Knicks, Dirk Nowitzki shot 6-15 for 13 points. Dallas has now lost three of their last five games with contests against New Orleans, Houston, Orlando and Phoenix looming on the schedule.

As far as Ford is concerned, he was released from the hospital and was even in attendance at Wednesday’s game. Luckily, it turns out he should fully recover and is expected to only miss about a week of action.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Steve Nash vs. Utah 36 min, 29 pts (FG: 10-12, 3FG: 3-4, FT: 6-6), 6 reb, 11 ast, 1 stl

Thursday’s Game to Watch: San Antonio (17-4) @ Los Angeles Lakers (12-8)
Could tonight be the night for the triumphant return of Tim Duncan to the Spurs lineup? We’ll have to wait until game time to be certain, but probably not. Duncan has missed three consecutive games with an ankle sprain, but it didn’t even phase San Antonio until the Warriors came along and snapped the Spurs five-game win streak on Tuesday. Trying to avoid back-to-back loses for the first time this season, SA heads to LA where Kobe Bryant is averaging 27.2 points for the season. The Lakers have struggled at home, dropping four of the 11 games in the Staples Center, but are riding a nice three game win streak in which they defeated Minny, Denver and Golden State. Should Duncan sit this contest out, we could be looking at a Bryant/Manu Ginobili highlight reel tomorrow morning which would be just fine by us.

Buzzer Beater: Glen “Big Baby” Davis got the first start of his career on Wednesday as the Celtics routed the Kings by 12, 90-78. Davis just missed out on a double-double in his debut, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes of work. And according to his coach, 28 might have killed the kid.

Baby was good after hyperventilating through the first half. He was terrific,” coach Doc Rivers said

Phoenix Suns

Around the Rim: Pass happy

1. Phoenix sharpshooter -passer
Everybody knows that Steve Nash is a passing machine, but this is getting to be plain silly. In his last four games, all wins, Nashty dished out a whopping 64 assists! The pass fest began on Nov. 30 when he had 14 assists at home against the Magic. Then the Suns began their current five-game, east coast road trip and the two-time MVP went off for 15 on the Knicks, followed by a 17-assist display against Indiana and culminating with Wednesday’s season-high 18 dimes against the Raptors. Of course, Sebastian Telfair could probably pick up 18 assists if he had scorers like Grant Hill (15.7 ppg), Shawn Marion (16.3), Amare Stoudemire (21.1), Raja Bell (11.7), Boris Diaw (7.4) and Leandro Barbosoa (17.7) running the floor with him. Okay, so maybe Se-Bass couldn’t do it, but a good point guard could.

2. Old friends?

Wednesday’s game between the Bull and the Bobcats served as a reunion of sorts for a pair of former teammates. Not on the floor, but on the sidelines. Chicago coach Scott Skiles and Charlotte big cheese Sam Vincent played ball together in college at Michigan State and then again in the pros when they both landed in the Orlando. Skiles’ Bulls took the game in Charlotte and afterwards the two reminisced on their initial memories of one another.

Skiles said he didn’t think Vincent would end up a coach when he was leading the Spartans in scoring. “I thought he was going to end up being an actor,” Skiles said.

“I thought he was a little [expletive] who couldn’t play basketball,” Vincent joked.

3. Guard-ian angles
Despite playing at home, the Spurs were facing an uphill battle against Dallas as Tim Duncan sat on the sidelines with an injury. But what probably should have been a loss turned into a welcomed W, 97-95, thanks to some outstanding backcourt play by the silver and black. Manu Ginobili was unstoppable as he found himself in the starting lineup for the first time this year, scoring a season-high 37 points (50% FG) to go with four rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block. Tony Parker chipped in 23, but struggled offensively, while Michael Finley came off the bench to score 14 on his former squad. All together, the trio of Spurs guards scored 74 of San Antonio’s 97 points. The Mavericks shot the ball very well, out rebounded the Spurs and scored 23 points off turnovers, but Dirk Nowitzki’s last-second trey from the corner didn’t connect and Dallas went down for the second time in three games.

Wednesday’s Player of the Day: Allen Iverson vs. Los Angeles Lakers 48 min, 51 pts (FG: 18-27, 3FG: 0-1, FT: 15-18), 2 reb, 8 ast, 1 stl

Thursday’s Game to Watch: Denver (11-8) @ Dallas (12-7)
Both of these teams are coming off Wednesday losses in which some significant truths were revealed. The Nuggets were fortunate to learn that Allen Iverson has still got it. The Answer blew up against the Lakers for a mile-high game-high 51 points, the most he’s scored as a Nugget and the most by any Denver player since Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf scored an identical amount in 1995. Unfortunately for the Mavs, their revelation is a lot more depressing. Dirk Nowitzki must reinvent himself if he is ever going to lead his team to a championship. His skills are incredible, but his style of play is incredibly soft. The seven-foot jump-shooter has a phobia of the lane and continues to be shut down by smaller players, as he was by Bruce Bowen on Wednesday. Granted, Bowen is a tremendous defender, but he is also giving up five inches and 45 pounds to the German MVP. Nowitzki shot four-of-11 for 15 points in the loss while Tim Duncan’s absence left a huge hole in the lane.

Buzzer Beater: Believe it or not, but Tracy McGrady only had two career triple-doubles before hitting Memphis up for 17 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists on Wednesday. The last time he accomplished the feat was nearly five ago when he had 46, 13 and 10 against the Nets on Feb. 23, 2003. Last night was certainly a good time to give an all around effort because his normally reliable shooting motion was out of order. T-Mac opened the game by going three-of-15 from the field before finishing with a less than respectable seven-of-22 performance.

Phoenix Suns

Around the Rim: Amare Stoudemire shines in a fight to the finish

1. Sun-sational finish
The Suns were supposedly shopping Amare Stoudemire over the summer in hopes of winning the Kevin Garnett lottery. Well, losing out never felt so good. Stoudemire, who was rumored to be an eyelash away from landing in Atlanta, went off in Indy last night, netting 42 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in Phoenix’s 121-117 victory. Of course, with Steve Nash getting the ball to any open player in a purple jersey, even Kwame Brown could thrive in this system. Nashty was on fire, torching the Pacers for an 18-point, 17-rebound double-double. Not enough fat numbers for you? Shawn Marion had 14 points and 12 boards in the win. On the other side of the floor, home fans were thrilled to have a Jermaine O’Neal sighting during the contest as the former All-Star had a big man double-double of 30 and 11, but they could have gone with out the game-high six turnovers.

2. Even nauseous, Kobe’s better 95% of the league

Kobe Bryant spent his Tuesday feeling sicker than a dog. Then on Tuesday night, he took to the court against Minnesota and threw up 20 points, 13 in the first quarter, and a sick 360 dunk as the Lakers killed the T-Wolves 116-95. Andrew Bynum had the same stomach ailment as Kobe, but unlike the team’s sole superstar, the youngster went to the hospital and missed the game. Kobe takes a lot of flack for being selfish, but he’s got more heart and will to win in his pinky finger than most players have in their whole body. We hate when anybody gets compared to Michael Jordan, but we gotta agree with Jerry Sichting on this one.

How are you going to tell if he’s got the flu?” acting Wolves head coach Sichting said. “He’s a lot like Jordan. It doesn’t matter with guys like that. He made ME sick.

Don’t worry coach, he makes opposing coaches ill on a nightly basis.

3. Chalk up another upset for the Kings
The Sacramento Kings don’t exactly instill the same level of fear in their opponents that they once did, but maybe they should. Nobody is expecting the Kings to make it to the Finals or even to get out of the first round, but they have some solid wins over playoff-bound squads of late and they might not be done yet. On Tuesday, Sacramento was clutch down the stretch, scoring 43 points in the fourth quarter to knock off the Jazz by 10, 117-107. Despite being just half a game away from sitting in their division’s cellar, Sactown has wins over the Pistons, Spurs, Rockets and now the Jazz. But Sacramento’s trek is about to become even more of an uphill battle as Kevin Martin, the league’s seventh best scorer (24.5 ppg), is out for the next four to six weeks with a groin tear. Ouch.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Amare Stoudemire @ Indiana 36 min, 42 pts (FG: 15-24, FT: 12-13), 13 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Los Angeles Lakers (10-8) @ Denver (11-7)
One game currently separates the Lakers and the Nuggets in the standings out west, but nobody cares about teams anymore. We’re a superstar society and we want points, points and more points when we tune into the Association. Well, there are three players in this game who are capable of dropping 50 on anyone’s head at any time, so that should satisfy the masses. Bryant is sitting at second in the league in scoring with 27.2 points per contest while Carmelo Anthony is fifth (25.3 ppg) and Allen Iverson comes in at eighth with 23.5 points. And you can expect the Denver duo to be looking for some revenge after the Lakers routed the Nuggets 127-99 on Nov. 29 in L.A.

Buzzer Beater: For a minute there it looked like the NBA’s version of Sideshow Bob was going to quit his gig as sidekick to one of the league’s biggest attractions to waste away in Charlotte. According to Cavs GM Danny Ferry, that isn’t going to be happening. Terms of the contract haven’t been disclosed, but Ferry said on Wednesday morning that the team has matched the Bobcats’ offer, meaning Anderson Varejao and his hair aren’t going anywhere. Unfortunately, is appears the Cavs aren’t going anywhere either until LeBron James gets over his finger injury. James was injured in a loss at Detroit on Nov. 28 and has missed the last three games, all loses, with a sprained left index finger.

Phoenix Suns

Around the Rim: Seattle lets the Suns shine in their town

1. Sonics boom
The Suns and Sonics put on a heck of a game through three quarters. Unfortunately for Seattle, games last 48 minutes, not 36. Kevin Durant did what he could (27 points, five rebounds) and he got plenty of help from his friends as Chris Wilcox went off for 23 points, 11 rebounds and three steals. But the inexperienced group of diaper dandies just didn’t have the gas or level of execution to close the deal in the fourth and lost 106-99. The fire power of the Suns remains unmatched. Three players finished with double-doubles (Shawn Marion, Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash) and Grant Hill debuted with an all-around solid performance of 13 points, six rebounds and five assists. We all know that the Suns can and will win games during the regular season, but it’s their inability to win in the postseason that has become their trademark. We’ll have to wait until June to see if this team can break free of the chains that bind them, but in the mean time, just pop open a brew and enjoy the most entertaining brand of ball in the league.

2. No Bull!?!?

The other day, Mark Cuban broke thousands of Mavericks fan’s hearts when he said that there was no way Kobe Bryant would end up in Dallas. Well, Chicago fans, it’s time to break out the tissues because GM John Paxson shot down any hopes of No. 24 becoming the next No. 23 in The Windy City. “There’s not a deal done,” he said Thursday. “There’s not going to be a deal done.” The rumors were that Luol Deng was the one piece that didn’t fit in the trade scenarios: the Bulls were going to have to deal Deng to get Kobe, but Kobe said he didn’t want to go if Deng wouldn’t be on the team. There were even rumors going around that would have landed Kobe in Chi-Town while putting Ben Wallace and Ron Artest in Los Angeles. Bryant for Wallace and Artest??? The Lakers should be ashamed of their front office for even allowing such a rumor to surface. Why not just trade Kobe for Yi Jianlian and a bag of magic beans?

3. Miami Beat

The Miami Heat looked like a team that was missing their leader when they took on the Pistons. Actually, they were missing their leader because Dwyane Wade is still recovering from summer surgeries and he was sitting on the bench in a snappy suit. But, in reality, they were missing both of their leaders because as Wade sat and watched, Shaquille O’Neal was shut down by Detroit double teams. The big fella only had nine points and six shots in the game, none of which came in the first half. Throw in some career-highs from Tayshaun Prince (34 points, 12 rebounds) and you’ve got yourself an easy 91-80 Bad Boy celebration. The one good thing about the game for Miami was that Ricky Davis was solid with 23 points, but we are talking about Ricky Davis. You know, the guy who intentionally missed a shot on his own team’s basket in an attempt to get a triple-double. We know he’s got skills, but that is the last guy in the world you want to have to hitch your trailer up to.

Thursday’s Player of the Day: Tracy McGrady @ Utah 40 min,47 pts (FG:17-27, 3FG: 2-5, FT: 11-14), 4 reb, 4 ast

Friday’s Game to Watch: Washington (0-1) @ Boston (0-0)
The Big Ticket and his new buddies make their long awaited debut tonight. For Kevin Garnett, he’s been waiting for this moment his whole life, even if he doesn’t know it or won’t admit it. He finally has the cast around him to make serious noise in the playoffs and there are far fewer giants lurking in the conference to give him hell on defense. But we don’t want to forget about the other loveable losers in this game. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce can finally relax a bit with some help around them and let their natural skills shine though. This team isn’t overly deep, but, then again, they don’t have to be; at least not yet. It should be interesting to see how these guys share the ball, but considering how hungry they all are to establish some postseason presence in Boston, we don’t foresee a problem. Oh, and the Wizards will be there too.

Buzzer Beater: We love Thursday nights because we love Inside the NBA. It’s one of the highlights to our otherwise drab week. And last night just happened to be a great evening of early season basketball. There were the Suns vs. Kevin Durant, the Pistons and the Heat, McGrady’s explosion against the Jazz. So, how the heck did this guy steal the show?

Phoenix Suns

The Matrix Relocated?

Hearing trade demands coming from Andrei Kirilenko is understandable. After all, who actually wants to spend their whole career in Salt Lake City? Apparently not even Russians. But hearing the news of trade demands coming from Phoenix is something totally different. Especially when those demands are coming from Shawn Marion, the face of the franchise for the past eight years.

Despite the championship caliber club surrounding him, the Matrix is sick and tired of hearing his name coming up in trade talks and his not too happy about his contract either.

I’m tired of hearing my name in trades,” Marion said by phone from his Chicago home Tuesday night. “I love my fans in Phoenix but I think it’s time for me to move on.”

Marion, the highest paid Suns player, has two years remaining on his maximum-level contract – $16.4 million for this year and a $17.8 million salary if he did not opt out before the 2008-09 season. He said the Suns’ unwillingness to extend his deal is “only a part of why” he wants to leave but would not confirm that he has asked for a three-year, $60 million extension, saying, “The numbers aren’t important.”

Suns General Manager Steve Kerr declined comment.

And at this point, it doesn’t really look like there much for Kerr to say. According to Marion, he’s already packed his bags and is ready to go anywhere he has to. Even, dare we say it, Utah?!?

There are two known trade suitors in the Utah Jazz (for Andrei Kirilenko, if not others) and the Los Angeles Lakers (for Lamar Odom and a teammate), with Marion showing an interest in the latter because of a friendship with Kobe Bryant.

“Regardless of everything that went on with the extension, I’m tired of hearing my name in trade rumors,” Marion said. “It’s time for me to move on. I felt like they tried to force my hand to Boston with the (Kevin) Garnett stuff.”

In June, there was the possibility of a three-way trade sending Garnett to Phoenix, a Boston pick package going to Minnesota and Marion to Boston with a contract extension but the Marion camp killed it.

“I haven’t done anything wrong,” said Marion, a four-time All-Star. “I leave it on the floor night in and night out. Sometimes, it’s just time, and it’s time to go. “It’s been like a nightmare. It hurts me making this phone call. It’s hurting me in my stomach.”

Marion said he has no problem with any of his teammates but did not want to comment on the Suns staffers, saying, “It’s just a bad marriage. I’m not talking about anyone. It’s just time for me to go.

We know that Marion is standing up for his principles and all, but he’s going to be kicking himself if he ends up with the Clippers or Bobcats. Heck, even the disgruntled Kirilenko would rather go to Europe than play in those wastelands.


[]: Marion: `Time for me to move on’

Phoenix Suns

Phoenix’s public enemy #1: Big Shot Bob

In case you haven’t noticed, the Phoenix Suns and their fans are just a little angry with Robert Horry. His infamous forearm to Steve Nash in the final moments of Game 4 sent shockwaves through the NBA as Big Shot Rob’s actions coaxed Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw off the Suns bench which earned the duo a pair of suspensions for Game 5. It’s arguable that the flagrant foul ended up costing the Suns the pivotal fifth game and possibly the series. So, has come up with this creative method of allowing the Phoenix faithful to gain a small measure of revenge against Horry; even though it was their own player’s stupid decisions that kept them out of the arena on Wednesday night. We present to you… Whack-A-Horry.

Sure, it’s not nearly as much fun as the arcade version but how could it be without the feel of a giant padded mallet in your hands. But if it can calm the rage of a city then we say whack away. It might seem a bit silly to sit at your desk and virtually beat the crap out of an animated Horry head but it is a hell of a lot better than how Raiders fans decide to take out their frustrations.


[]: Whack-A-Horry: Arizona Website Posts Anger-Venting Game For Suns’ Fans

Phoenix Suns

Top 10 Dumbest in-game Injuries: #7 Kevin Johnson

[Sportscolumn is running down the ten dumbest in-game injuries in sports. Here’s #7.]

The game winning shot is a moment that most players live for but it can be dangerous when a 250+ pound man is looking to give you a celebratory embrace. Phoenix Suns guard Kevin Johnson found out the hard way when he buried a buzzer beating bucket and an animated Charles Barkley rushed over, grabbed Johnson and squeezed him with such force that his shoulder was dislocated. K.J. had his arm in a sling while he watched from the bench in street clothes for the next two weeks. Nowadays Barkley doesn’t get that worked up unless he’s doubling down in a hand of blackjack or someone ate the last cheesesteak.

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