Shaqdaddy gets a visit
from the Human Highlight Film.
In discussing the differences between playing with a young Penny Hardaway in Orlando, a young Kobe Bryant with the Lakers, and now a young Dwyane Wade with the Heat, Shaquille O'Neal evoked the Godfather trilogy, envisioning himself, of course, in the role made famous by Marlon Brando.

"The difference between those three is the Godfather trilogy. One is Fredo, who was never ready for me to hand it over to him. One is Sonny, who will do whatever it takes to be the man, and one is Michael, who if you watch the trilogy, the Godfather hands it over to Michael. So I have no problem handing it over to Dwyane."

Considering the wealth of great characters that emerged from the Godfather movies, why not fill out the rest of the cast:

Playing the part of Luca Brasi is Udonis Haslem. Lost in all the talk of O'Neal sidekicks is the work Haslem (11.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg) has done alongside O'Neal, providing muscle.

Based mostly on size and quotability, Stan Van Gundy gets the part of Clemenza (leave the gun, take the cannolis).

Though he probably lacks the temperament of a true consigliere, Damon Jones would play the part of Tom Hagen. He's fairly cool under pressure and usually has interesting things to say.

And finally, Michael Doleac gets the part of Tessio (see Van Gundy explanation).

But it's clear who Shaq, in the twilight of his career, sees as the one to take over at the end of a game: "I would love to see the ball in my hands, but I'm not the best player or the best shooter on this team," O'Neal said. "I don't mind handing it over to Michael Dwyane Corleone."