Shaq used MMA training to prepare for season


Shaq used MMA training to prepare for season

By Jessica Camerato

WALTHAM -- This summer, fans watched Shaquille O'Neal battle Justin Bieber in a dance-off, golf against Charles Barkley, and challenge Joey Chestnut to a hot-dog eating contest on his hit television show, Shaq Vs.

But what people didn't see was ONeal's preparation for his 19th NBA season. Friendly competitions aside, the 38-year-old pushed himself to get ready for basketball. He followed a daily routine to stay in game-shape during the offseason.

"I'd wake up, go to the UFC school for about an hour-and-a-half, come back, eat lunch, take a nap, and then go swimming at night," he told

O'Neal trained in mixed martial arts with Jonathan Burke at Gracie Barra Orlando. He has been participating in the program for several years and finds the workouts on the mat help him on the court.

"I did a lot of wrestling stuff because that's the only thing that prepares me for basketball," he said. "I play the wrestling basketball, rather than the running basketball. I can run and jump all day, but I get tired when I have to wrestle against big guys. So wrestling helps me get my stamina."

In the evenings, O'Neal swam 40 laps a night at 24 Hour Fitness in Orlando. This hour-long workout reminds him of the pace of the game.

"Swimming is similar to basketball," he said. "Sprint, sprint, sprint, rest. Sprint, sprint, sprint, rest."

O'Neal is not the only member of the Celtics to follow this type of offseason regimen. Glen Davis also participates in MMA training during the summer in Las Vegas.

Even though the two have yet to test their skills against one another, both are sure they could predict the outcome.

"I could teach him a move or two - armbar, probably kimura, different kinds of positions. I could teach him some kicks," said Davis. "I'd beat him, though. Too seasoned."

Said O'Neal: "Yeah right. He wishes."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA.

Drummond to Boston? Pistons big man's tweets fuel speculation

Drummond to Boston? Pistons big man's tweets fuel speculation

BOSTON -- Two of the NBA’s biggest names on the trade market, Serge Ibaka and DeMarcus Cousins, changed zip codes (Ibaka to Toronto from Orlando, Cousins to New Orleans from Sacramento) without the Celtics showing much interest in swinging a deal for either player.


Could it be because they had their sights set on Detroit’s Andre Drummond all along?
Pistons general manager/head coach Stan Van Gundy has made no secret about talking with lots of teams about his players leading up to the trade deadline, well aware that his team has been one of the league’s biggest underachievers.

Detroit (27-30) is eighth in the Eastern Conference, trailing first-place Cleveland by 13 games.
Drummond was reportedly offered to Sacramento as part of a deal for Cousins, so it should not come as a surprise that his name has found its way into the rumor mill.
Still, Drummond only added fuel to the rumor mill fire by re-tweeting the eyeball emojis posted by the Celtics' Isaiah Thomas, something Thomas did shortly before Boston added Al Horford to the mix last summer.

And then Drummond followed that up by posting his own set of eyeball emojis on Tuesday, which adds to the speculative nature of a trade-deadline season that ends Thursday at 3 p.m.

Drummond, a former UConn standout, is an easy-going, fun-loving guy, so the emoji stuff isn’t all that out of character for him. But he also changed his Twitter profile picture to him waving goodbye. after removing Pistons information from his bio.

Is he pulling our leg, or giving a heads-up that the Celtics are close to pulling off a trade?
A league source tells that while no deal is imminent, Boston is a possible landing spot for Drummond if the Pistons are, in fact, planning on trading him. That, says the source,"is not a definite. [Van Gundy] knows he has to do something significant with that team, if not at the deadline [then] definitely this summer.

"So he’s looking to find out the value for all his guys, Drummond included.”