I think everyone who writes for this blog has either died or is still intoxicated from the weekend. I’m coming out of my coma so here are my views/thoughts on the retirement of this great actor. I mean rapper. I mean comedian. KAZAAM!
Shaquille O’Neal is an interesting specimen. The 39-year-old is over seven feet tall and weighs (a generous) three-hundred-twenty-five pounds. Unless of course your going by his height/weight in the movie “Blue Chips” which lists Shaq or his alter ego Neon Boudeaux at 7’4″ 330 lbs. Besides being freakishly strong/larger than life what exactly are we going to remember most about Shaq Diesel? To make things fun….countdown!
5. Shaq the rapper
– Like every athlete, the big cactus attempted to be a rapper. He released four different albums including the classics Shaq Diesel and Shaq Fu: Da Return. So pretty much his rap game was about as successful as Shaq attempting to trick people that he really is a 16-year-old white girl. The highlight of his rap career was when he took the stage in 2008 following the Lakers loss to the Celtics in the NBA finals. Shaq Fu dropped the line, “Kobe tell me how my ass tastes”. After hearing that line, I’m not shocked his rap career never panned out.
4. Shaq the goofball
– He’s dressed up as a jockey. a cop. Has had about a million different nicknames. But above all dressed up like Beyonce last Halloween. Yup.
3. Shaq the actor
– Blue Chips, Kazaam, Steel, The Wash, Freddy Got Fingered, Scary Movie 4. How he didn’t win an Academy Award for best actor blows my mind. However, I will say that Blue Chips is a sweet sports movie. Jim Tressel should have watched it, he might still have his job.
2. Shaq the player
– Shaq will unquestionably go down as one of the best centers to ever play the NBA. I watched all the debates on ESPN today (PTI, Around the Horn, Sportscenter) discussing where he will rank in NBA history. While he may not be on the level of Wilt Chamberlain or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, you can compare Shaq to them as well as Bill Russell very easily. Russell was a defensive monster and also won eleven NBA Championships. Kareem introduced the sky hook which revolutionized the way the center position was played. Chamberlain was a scoring machine. However, Shaq brought something different to the table, brute strength. Every night he stepped onto the court he was the strongest and most physically imposing player on the hard wood. He’d dominate smaller players even giving himself the nickname Osama Bin Shaq after “terrorizing” Keith Van Horn on the boards in the 2002 NBA Finals. Statistically the big 4 (Wilt, Russell, Kareem, Shaq) are all close. Unfortunately blocks weren’t a stat yet during Chamberlain/Russell’s careers which is now a huge part in ranking centers.
So where will we rank Shaq in terms of production? It’s tough to say. His numbers stack up to some of the greatest ever and the way he played the game was something the NBA had never seen before. His achilles heel was his foul shooting. Had he simply shot 60% from line (he shot 52%, third worst in NBA history) he would have added nearly 850 more points to his career total. A small number, but it would have inflated his PPG a bit. Still Shaq’s statistical numbers are impressive especially considering he was playing in an era that has a lot of strong defensive centers, something that Wilt Chamberlain never had to deal with. A couple more interesting stats:
- Most Seasons With 20 PPG and 10 RPG (NBA history)
Shaquille O’Neal: 13
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 12
Wilt Chamberlain: 12
Hakeem Olajuwon: 12
- Has the 2nd highest Field Goal percentage in NBA history at 58.2%
- 4x NBA champion, 3x NBA Finals MVP (tied 2nd all time), 15x All-Star game selection (2nd all time), 28,596 career points (5th all time)
- Wears a size 23 shoe. That’s insane.
1. Shaq the person
– The NBA fans will miss Shaq. LeBron is practically a robot now, Kobe is getting older and grumpier and Dirk Nowitzki looks/acts like an alien. Shaq lightened up the NBA and really enjoyed playing the game of basketball. It will be interesting to see how the next few days transpire. Expect the Big Aristotle (about the 50th different nickname I’ve used for him this article) to do something over the top during his retirement speech because that’s the way that everyone should remember him. A nasty baller and absolutely out of his mind.