by Marcel Mutoni

During his first game of the ’07-’08 season, D-Wade took over the coaching duties from Pat Riley during one of the timeouts, and he tore into his starry-eyed teammates. Coach Riley was impressed:

“I was angry, yeah,” Wade said, adding, “I was just really trying to express to everybody if there’s a loose ball, stop letting guys beat us to loose balls. That’s how we’re losing ballgames.”

“In order to sharpen a saw you have to use iron,” Riley said. “Iron sharpens iron. And then in this situation men will sharpen other men. And that’s it.

Speaking of Riley, he was talking tough a few days ago about possibly benching Shaquille O’Neal, but he hasn’t found the testicular fortitude to follow through. Wade, for his part, is lobbing verbal salvos towards the Big Irrelevant.

“Probably this year more so than any year I have been more vocal with Shaq, talking to him and trying to motivate him,” Wade said Thursday before the Heat left for a game at Boston tonight. “But the main thing is Shaq has got to be self-motivated. He has got to be willing and ready to do it.”

I haven’t watched The Godfather in ages, so I’m not exactly sure how this ties into Shaq’s legendary Corleone family analogy, but I doubt this will be well received by O’Neal.