Talking Points: Shaq's legacy

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What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

Shaquille O’Neal’s NBA accomplishments were extraordinary. Four titles; three Finals MVP awards; more than 28,000 points during the regular season. But his most enduring accomplishment on the court might be that he played the game with great joy.

O’Neal was the basketball equivalent of Ken Griffey Jr., bringing a child-like passion to the games and looking almost giddy when he would make a great play. During interviews, he was — and is — goofy at times, a trait that came through during Friday’s retirement announcement.

Trail Blazer fans long viewed O’Neal more like the basketball equivalent of Darth Vader. That’s the natural result of the fact that he played for the Lakers. But today, even Blazer fans must tip their hat to the fact that O’Neal made the game fun for the audience. He liked to give himself nicknames, such as The Big Aristotle or The Big Diesel. But one would have sufficed: The Big Entertainer.

2

The Dallas Mavericks’ comeback from a 15-point deficit over the final six minutes made Game 2 of the NBA Finals an instant classic. It also reminded Talking Points of this fact: Derrick Rose was the league MVP and LeBron James would be the first selection in anybody’s pickup game, but for the past six weeks, Dirk Nowitzki has been the best player in the world.

3

In case you missed Stephanie Rice’s story in the Clark County section of Friday’s edition of The Columbian, it appears that Clark County commissioner Marc Boldt will be the swing vote on bringing the Yakima Bears to Vancouver. Whether or not you’re for the construction of a stadium, contact your commissioners and share your opinion.