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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Shaq Mad at Wiz Not at Nash

Watching Washington's series-clinching win over Chicago on television with his Miami teammates, Shaquille O'Neal heard Wizards fans chanting, ``We want Shaq! We want Shaq!''

Bad move.

``Be careful what you ask for,'' O'Neal said Saturday. ``We'll be ready.''

So, while Phoenix guard Steve Nash formally is named the NBA's Most Valuable Player on Sunday, O'Neal insists all his attention will be on the Wizards, whom the Miami Heat host in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

O'Neal said he didn't consider losing the MVP race to be a snub. Others strongly disagreed; Heat coach Stan Van Gundy called the result ``beyond ludicrous.''

``If you went and asked any general manager in the league for the past dozen years who's the one player they'd want to have, they'd say Shaquille O'Neal,'' Van Gundy said. ``And he's been selected by you brilliant people in the media, selected as the most valuable player in the league one time. Once? Only once?''

The Wizards, who were 0-4 against Miami during the regular season, seemed less than excited about the prospects of facing an angry and motivated Shaq -- who says his sore right thigh is much better and that he doesn't expect to be physically hampered in this series.

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