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Irish Coffee: Shaquille O’Neal talks Hoopz

02.03.11 at 12:31 pm ET

Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦  


During the filming of “Flavor of Love” on VH1, Nikki “Hoopz” Alexander dominated Flavor Flav in a game of one-on-one. Then she owned some dude named “Entertainer” with a flurry of profanities on “I Love Money” — another VH1 reality show.  

But she’d probably have a tougher time defeating her current boyfriend, Shaquille O’Neal.  

Sudbury’s most famous couple went two-on-one in an interview with The Globe’s Meredith Goldstein for a Home & Lifestyle section cover story. Here’s what we learned:  

  • Hoopz, 28, on Shaq, 38: ‘€œI knew he was a goofball. We’€™re the same. We’€™re both goofballs.’€™’€™
  • Shaq is 7-foot-1; Hoopz is 5-foot-2. A full Nelson de la Rosa separates them.
  • Hoopz is filming another reality show, based on their suburban life and her desire to become a women’s heath and self-defense guru. Like I won’t watch that.
  • Shaq has a pit bull named Shamrock. Do you think the dog has a Kobe Bryant chew toy?
  • Ther’s a room in Shaq’s house that features Taylor Swift and “Alice in Wonderland” posters on the wall and candy canisters everwhere. Oh, and there’s a pink bathroom, too. Thankfully, that room is Hoopz’s. Shaq calls it the “dungeon.”
  • Hoopz won “Flavor of Love” Season 1, capturing Flavor Flav’s “on-camera affection” and the ultimate prize: a set of gold teeth. I think I just found my Valentine’s Day gift.
  • Hoopz then took home $250,000 for winning ‘€œI Love Money,’€™’€™ a crazy reality show spinoff about the craziest VH1 reality show castoffs that could only happen in America.
  • Hoopz once followed another basketball player,  James “Boo” Jackson, to Tennessee. A gym gypsy of sorts, Jackson left town for another team. Hoopz stayed behind.
  • Hoopz and Shaq’s first date was in Las Vegas. Luckily, it didn’t end up at The Best Little Chapel — a la Stu and Jade in “The Hangover.”
  • The next few dates between Hoopz took Shaq included fishing, visiting a Waffle House and listening to music by Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift. You know, typical Shaq things.
  • Shaq on Hoopz: ‘€œShe’€™s my first female best friend, besides my mother.’€™’€™
  • Shaq has a live-in chef. Unfortunately, it’s not Chef from “South Park.”
  • Hoopz and Shaq watch “Spartacus” on Starz together. Loin cloths optional.
  • Hoopz attends every Celtics home game. Shaq attends most, too.

Ever wonder what Ray Allen’s old house looks like? Here it is. You can have it for $3.7 million. (AP)


 As long as we’re on the subject of reality, I stumbled across a website that claims Ray Allen put the five-bedroom, 10,000-foot mansion he lived in for four years as a member of the SuperSonics back on the market for $3.7 million. 

 The house includes a swimming pool, movie theater and full-size basketball court. It’s pretty nice. I think I’ll submit my bid this afternoon. 

 While Allen tries to sell his old home, Rajon Rondo is busy remodeling. The Celtics point guard — along with Red Bull — recently revamped a third basketball court in the Boston area, at the intersection of Jersey Street and Park Drive just south of Fenway Park. They had already upgraded courts in Roxbury and the Allston/Brighton area. The fourth is up for a vote between the South End, Dorchester and Roslindale. 


 The Heat — tied with the Bulls — trail the Celtics for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed by just three games with 34 games to play, but based on what LeBron James and Dwyane Wade told they’ve got a long way to go to catch the C’s. 

 James: “We’re way behind those guys. Just look at the number of games played, the number of playoff series those guys have had. We’re only a few months in together — 40-something-plus games. I’ve seen the statistics. Boston has like 250-plus games played together. We’re way behind those teams.” 

Wade: “You talk about Boston, you talk about Orlando or the Lakers, we’re never going to catch those guys in experience. I think the stat is, Boston is 30-[17] in the playoffs since they’ve been together. We’re 0-0.” 

Let’s take the Magic out of that discussion. That team is completely different since the trade. 


For the third consecutive day, the panic in Los Angeles rose to the next level on Wednesday. This time, according to’s Marc Stein, Ron Artest wants off the Lakers via trade. 

One source close to the situation insists that Ron Artest wants out.

Asked to react to that, Artest’s agent David Bauman declined comment.

Stein then details the two main reasons Artest wants to be traded from a championship team:

1. He’s weary of being scapegoated for the team’s struggles and feels that he’s destined to always absorb the bulk of the blame no matter what happens because Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant are so dependent on the more glamorous contributions of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom and will never publicly go after regal Laker lifer Derek Fisher.

2. As we heard at various points during his stops in Indiana, Sacramento and Houston, Artest is eventually going to squawk if he’s being marginalized in the offense, which inevitably disengages him from his defensive responsibilities. (Relegated “to the corner shot” is the way Daniel Artest described it.)

Excuse me while I stop laughing. … Artest wants to be more of a central focus in an offense that features Bryant, Gasol and Odom? I see coaching in Artest’s future.

The Los Angeles Times refuted the report, quoting Artest denial of any interest in a trade:

“No. Definitely not. I feel good every day. We’ve got a chance to win multiple championships here … trying to work towards another banner.”

Stein shot back. The reporter tweeted: “If player or agent publicly seeks trade they get fined.”

Meanwhile, Bryant remains on topic. Appearing on “Conan” Wednesday night, Kobe responded to the question of whether or not the Lakers can three-peat:

“I think so. The beauty of the season is that it’s filled with challenges. In this city, everybody breathes Lakers basketball, so when there’s struggle it’s like it’s the end of the world. But that’s what the season is about. It’s about overcoming those challenges, and we’re up to the task.”

Everybody in Los Angeles breathes Lakers basketball? Well, the NBA might as well get rid of the Clippers.

(Have a question, concern or conception for tomorrow’€™s Irish Coffee or a future mailbag? Send an e-mail or a Twitter message to @brohrbach.)

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Nikki "Hoopz" Alexander
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