Word on the Street

Veteran-ly (vet’-uhr-uhn-le’) adverb. Having or displaying the combination of experience, cunning, and sneaky tricks that are possessed by veteran basketball players.

Usage example:Kevin McHale used to veteran-ly switch his pivot feet, and somehow managed to avoid getting called for travelling.

Word history: The term was coined by Shaq in an NBA.com feature article titled Catching Up With The Diesel. When asked why his Miami Heat got off to a slow start last year, and why they “only” won 50 games, Shaq said:

“It happened because we sort of veteran-ly paced ourselves. A lot of teams come out, win 15 in a row, win 20 in a row, win 70 games, but if you don’t win the whole thing, none of that matters. Our formula was very simple: beat the teams you’re supposed to beat, stay dominant at home, and stay above .500 on the road. We did that and we won 50 games. We let about nine or 10 games slip away by not focusing or just by being lazy.”

I’m not sure “a lot” of teams have come out and won 70 games; in fact, I’m pretty sure that’s only happened once (and that team did, in fact, win the title). But considering the fact that he could kill me with one clubbing blow, I’ll let Shaq say pretty much whatever he wants. But this quote definitely settles the “Does Shaq sandbag during the regular season” debate.

That’s not an illegal hook; Shaq’s just veteran-ly driving around Nash.

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Labels: Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq) / Steve Nash / Kevin McHale / Miami Heat / NBA / Word on the Street

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