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If Computers Ran NBA, Shaq Would Be Benched
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Shaquille O'Neal may be one of the best basketball players on the planet, but he should have been benched in this year's National Basketball Association championships.

Or so concludes a new statistical measurement developed by Lenovo Group Ltd. the world's third-largest personal computer maker. Introduced by Lenovo and the NBA on Monday, the statistic is supposed show which five players combine to make the best team on the court at any one time.

In June's NBA finals, for instance, the Lenovo Stat showed the best combination for the champion Miami Heat included Dwyane Wade, James Posey, Gary Payton, Antoine Walker, and Alonzo Mourning.

Missing from the list is O'Neal, the 7'1" Miami Heat centre who is an 11-times NBA All-Star and named one of the 50 Greatest Players in league history. But it was with Mourning - rather than O'Neal - that the Heat had the greatest point advantage during the championships, according to the Lenovo Stat.

Lenovo is launching the statistic as part of a new multi-year marketing partnership with the NBA. Under the partnership, Lenovo will place notebook and desktop computers in all 30 NBA arenas for use by coaches and referees.

NBA Commissioner David Stern, who said the statistic would give coaches "enormous additional data," declined to comment on the conclusion about O'Neal.

"Shaq is a friend of mine," he joked.

(China Daily October 25, 2006)

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