by Marcel Mutoni

His numbers this season – the worst of his Hall of Fame career – certainly don’t make him an All-Star. But according to some, namely Heat head coach Pat Riley, Shaq deserves an invite to the big game in New Orleans next month for two reasons: His past accomplishments and his singular ability to entertain.

”What other centers in the Eastern Conference are more deserving? I don’t know,” Heat coach Pat Riley said.

”That’s what the All-Star game is about — it’s not about anything else other than [fan entertainment] and something like this for Shaquille,” Riley said, in full stump mode. “I think he deserves it.”

I wouldn’t be upset if the coaches voted O’Neal onto the team (he’s done enough for the League throughout his career to deserve it), but I do think Riley’s assertion that Shaq’s entertainment value should be enough to get him in is a tad ridiculous.

What, is O’Neal there solely to breakdance with Dwight and LeBron during the Saturday practice? Actually, you know what, that’s not such a bad idea.