In anticipation of the first Shaq-less All-Star Game in 16 years, the New York Times started wondering yesterday who will replace the big guy once he fades completely. Dwight Howard seems to be the obvious heir apparent among dominant centers (he already nabbed Shaq’s nickname–not a bad start) and O’Neal himself named Amare Stoudemire the NBA’s “most powerful dunker.” So where does Agent Zero fit in?

Arenas, Washington’s quirky star, is the most likely to replace O’Neal as the league’s leading goofball and supplier of one-liners. It was Arenas who mused that an Olympic gold medal was more valuable than an N.B.A. title because he could always sign 10 one-year deals “and hop on every team that I think can win a championship that year.”

“And in 10 years, I might pull out three of them,” he said.

As Arenas quips go, that one is mighty tame. Still, you can’t just lick a few donuts and use a little numbing spray and expect to become the NBA’s new zinger king. You need to call Vlade Divac stupid, too.