What will the sumo wrestlers teach Shaq?
According to this story on ESPN.com, Pat Riley is thinking about bringing in some sumo wrestlers to help improve his game.
Riley’s hope is that the battering they give him will better prepare Shaq for game conditions.
Let’s hope the sumo wrestlers don’t introduce Shaq to the fine art of cheating to lose. As poorly as Shaq shoots free throws, he is well equipped to intentionally throw games (or, more likely, miss free throws to make sure his team does not cover the point spread). When you only make 45% of your free throws, it would not be that rare to miss 3 or 4 “by chance” at the end of the game. Of course, if you only make 45% of your free throws, it is not clear that when he tries to miss, he might make the same percentage unless he just throws up air balls.
(In defense of Shaq’s honor, a quick look through all of the games he has played this year does not reveal a single case where one could even conjecture that he intentionally tried to have his team not cover the spread by missing free throws. He made the only free throws I could find where it was near the end of the game, and either the game or the outcome relative to the spread was on the line.)