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The Heat is on at Raw
Miami’s American Airlines Arena is the home of the NBA’s Miami Heat, and several members of the defending NBA champions were in the house for the first Raw of 2007. Multiple-time All-Star Shaquille O’Neal, center Alonzo Mourning, forward Dorell Wright and point guard Jason Williams were among the cagers at Raw, and many of them brought their family and friends to share the experience.
In fact, Williams’ son Jackson admitted that he is a full-fledged supporter of the Chain Gang.
“I came to see John Cena and Jeff Hardy,” he said. His dad added that “(Jackson) is a big fan; he’ll miss my games to watch Raw.”
Wright was excited to get his first taste of live WWE action.
“This is my first show, I’m excited,” he said. “I’m a big fan, I was a big fan when I was a teenager and I’m starting to get back into it; I loved The Rock and Stone Cold. And I still tell people to suck it,” he laughed.
Haslem has also been a long-time fan, dating back to his days as a youngster.
“(WWE) has been getting bigger and better since I started watching as a kid,” he told WWE.com, “and now my son is into WWE as much as I was, so it’s cool to watch with him. He loves John Cena. He knows everybody.”
Shaquille O’Neal is another long-time sports-entertainment fan. The big man was a part of WCW’s 1994 Bash at the Beach event (in the corner of Hulk Hogan), and also had a run-in with Carlito not too long ago. So what keeps him coming back?
“I’m a fan, my sons are fans, I just love being around WWE,” Shaq declared.
His son Myles was excited to be with his dad at Raw.
“I met John Cena, I met Triple H…I even met Kevin Federline!” he exclaimed. “My favorite is Hulk Hogan though, I wish he was here.”
One thing almost everyone had in common was a feeling of awe when meeting the WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon.
“He’s the guy that’s behind everything, and evolved WWE into what it is today,” Haslem stated. “A lot of us are big fans, so it’s great to meet the man responsible for everything.”