By Craig Kwasniewski
That's my bold prediction. Forget about the reports from ESPN and ESPN2 and ESPN News and ESPN U and ESPN Classic... Shaq will play in tonight's Heat-Lakers clash.
Here's how it's gonna play out: right up until the pre-game shoot around, you'll hear reports of The Big Fatass not being game-ready. Suddenly he'll come running out from the Doug Christie-Rick Fox memorial tunnel to a 60/40 boos to cheers reaction from the Laker faithful. The Big Gluttoness will play is ass off (giving the best effort until some random Pistons game in April) and help lead the Heat to a close 112-109 victory. I predict an 18-point, 8 rebound game along the way.
He'll pull the whole, "I did this for the memory of MLK" line. A bunch of the media will eat this up and write stuff like, "how great of Shaq to sacrifice his body and play on such a day!"
Dude, it's so very Shaq of him to do this... he gets what he always wants, the love and adulation from the media and he doesn't have top get deputized in some backwoods county in Florida to do so.
Plus, I'm laying even odds that David Stern made a random call a few weeks ago telling Shaq to "stop faking injuries and fucking play!" to encourage his return tonight.