Players miss having Shaq in the All-Star lineup

Updated: February 17, 2008, 11:26 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS -- Larger-than-life likenesses of Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard -- a trilogy of NBA giants -- adorn one side of a downtown hotel. They tower over trolleys and tourists on Canal Street along the French Quarter's fringe.

The mammoth images of the All-Stars are impressive and imposing, yet somehow seem incomplete. Someone, a very big someone, is absent from the monstrous montage -- one Shaquille O'Neal.

You know, Shaq.

For the first time since announcing ...

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