Shaquille O'Neal, a force never before seen in the NBA, is a big baby. Not Big Baby on the Celtics. But an actual baby. Sure, Shaq has been dominant. But he's only been able to use his immense size to overpower opponents. All he can do is dunk. Without a doubt, he's an incredible athlete. A man of that size, doing what he does (did?) is truly remarkable.
But, at the same time, he's not the best basketball player. He can't shoot. He can't shoot from more than three feet away from the basket. Forget free throws. He's never won anything without a dominant player next to him. Kobe in LA. Wade in Miami. Even now in Phoenix, he's got Nash and other good players around him. In Orlando, he had Penny and shooters around him. He's nowhere near the player Hakeem was. (As a note on Hakeen, remember what happened to David Robinson in 1995? Here's your reminder.) And don't forget what happened when Dream and Shaq played in the Finals in 1995. Sweep, back to back, Clutch City.
Anyway, back to Shaq. I think he's hilarious. I really do. His ESPN commercials are truly great. He was good in other commercials, as well. The Big Diesel is even a heckuva dancer.
But Shaq can NOT take a joke. One jab at Shaq and he's calling everyone else this and everyone else that. He's thrown every teammate under the bus who ever crossed him or said one word edge wise. Even to D-Wade, who placated the Big Aristotle. He asked Kobe how his "backside" tasted. Then, when he got called out for it, claimed it was a joke. Forget the rest of the feud, when two grown man threw away at least 2 championships because of ego. He always has an excuse. He always whines. He's called out coaches Stan Van Gundy, Phil Jackson, and Pat Riley. Every owner. As soon as he leaves somewhere, he feels the need to burn bridges.
Its almost pathological. Allow me to play amateur psychologist for a moment. Since Shaq's step-father, Sgt. Phil Harrison (do I know too much about sports if I knew that off the top of my head?) moved around so much in the army, causing young (notice I did not say small) Shaq to constantly need the grass in his new destination to be greener than in his old stomping grounds? Did his desire to not be the new guy but everyone's friend require him to make fun of everything in his past so as to gain acceptance in his present? Does that metaphor work? I think it does. What's the deal with that? Any thoughts from you guys?