I’m not a Lakers fan at all. Hate ‘em. They’re exactly the kind of basketball team a good New Yorker despises: a big market basketball team that makes a lot of money and is successful. But love ‘em or hate ‘em, players like Shaquille O’Neal need to be respected. Not because he can literally break you in half with his two pinkies, but because they deserve it.
Without question, Shaquille O’Neal was the most categorically physically dominant player in the NBA for at least a decade (if not for Wilt Chamberlain, I would say in NBA history).
That was why I made it a point to watch the retirement ceremony during the Lakers-Mavericks game last night.
Here are a few things I thought were important enough to share:
• Jeanie Buss is hot. Straight-up MILF. Phil Jackson really should be credited with winning 10 rings. If you think that Shaq wasn’t thinking about having sex with her during that speech she gave, you’re crazy.
• In order of greatness (best to worst), these are Shaq’s best nicknames: Shaq Diesel (classic) , Shaqtus, The Pythagorean Theorem (because he couldn’t be solved), Shaq Fu, The Big Aristotle, The Big Field General, The Big Shamrock, Horse,
• Leave it to a city like Los Angeles to make one of the few sports compilation videos actually worth watching.
• Shaq’s sons that were standing on his left look legitimately tall. Anyone who comes up to his shoulder is big in my book.
• That Cliff Notes quote is one for the ages.
• Call me crazy, but I could swear that Kobe Bryant was being sincere in that little bit he made. Yeah, his comments were initially directed at his size and natural talent but you have to believe that when a guy like Kobe uses the word “historical,” he’s not f*cking about.
• If your name is Mike D’Antoni, you really should just kill yourself now. Listening to that chant “We Want Phil!” must have been the most embarrassing thing ever. Almost as bad as not being able to win with Kobe, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, and Ron Artest.
• According to a Twitter source, Kobe Bryant apparently was watching the halftime tribute in the locker room. Once they started chanting “We want Phil,” though, he turned it off.
• Even as a Knicks fan, this is one of my favorite Shaq moments ever. Even if Chris Dudley was a dorky white guy, he was a 6’11”, 235-lb, dorky white guy. And Shaq just pushed him down with his fingers, no problem.
• The jersey of Shaq’s that they hung up on the rafters is backwards. You can see the collar in the photos here.
• Reggie Miller calling Shaquille O’Neal “The Big Teardrop” when talking about whether or not he’ll cry during the ceremony is the funniest thing that Reggie Miller has/or will ever say.
• The more I think about it, the more I think that Dwight Howard needs to leave Los Angeles. Seeing his name up included on that infographic of LA Lakers centers makes me believe that he’s only as good as he’s been hyped.
• Where were Shaq’s other teammates giving speeches? Normally these ceremonies include testimonials from lots of people. I could’ve sworn I saw The Glove out on the court.