by Marcel Mutoni

Following his star (?) center’s trip to L.A. for treatment on a busted-up hip yesterday, Heat coach Pat Riley faced the media and was forced to respond to growing speculation that the franchise should consider trading away Shaquille O’Neal.

Despite the fact that the big fella is having the worst season of his career, Riles says that the artist formerly known as The Diesel isn’t being shopped.

“We’re not interested in trading him at all, because we want those 17 points and those eight rebounds and 50-percent (shooting),” Riley said. “That’s what we want.”

“Of course, even if we did want to trade him, it’s damn near impossible. I mean, what GM in their right mind would want a decaying big man owed over $40 million in the next two seasons?

Uh, gimme a sec here, I think that Isiah is calling me,” Riley did not necessarily add.

Speaking of the Heat and injuries, which is the prevailing theme this season: D-Wade’s shoulder is in much worse shape than the team had initially disclosed. Bad times in the MIA, very bad times.