ESPN is reporting that Shaquille O'Neal will be forced to return another badge. This time to Bedford Virginia, yes they do not have an NBA team. However, I don't want to write about Shaq the player or even Shaq the individual. But since you asked, the individual is funny, the player is fat and lazy.
Shaq should have been THE greatest center of all time. Instead he has cashed it in year after year and relied on his mass and bulk down low. He was explosive and quick but could have been so much more. When it is all done he will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. But I have toi ask. How can a guy that good never lead the league in points, rebounds, or blocks in a season? I don't know. I told you I am not gonna write about it.
What I am really interested in is badges, nice shiny Sheriff ones. I myself once wanted to be a cop like my dad. But there was only one way to do it back in the day. You went to the academy, worked hard and graduated.
Now there is another way. It may seem a little more convoluted than the earlier method but this one has a little more moxie:
First get drafted to an NBA team. One that is fairly underwhelming at the time. Proceed to get the to the NBA Finals and lose. Now this next step is important.
Will the future Hall of Famer plesase step forward.
Not so fast Mr. Hardaway.
Leave that team. Get some fresh air. Make some movies. Record some albums. Now win championships on a new team, a couple, no three. Make sure to speak ill of your past teammate and co-star. Proceed to waive necessary surgery in the summer and save it for the start of the season. Be sure to come back more bloated for every new season. Now. Leave this team, demand it if you have to.
Still on my Netflix queue.
Go to a different team, somewhere similar to your last town but a little more humid and less culturally significant. Make sure to speak ill of your last city and your past teammates. Proceed to workout in the off season to win a title. A novel idea that could have been used in your past ventures, but never mind that now. It might be impressive if you get tired toward the end of this season and willingly pass the team off to a new up and comer. Win title.
Now get fat again.
Now demand a trade again.
Get traded to #1 team in Western Conference.
WE WERE #1, WE WERE #1
Help new team move steadily down the ladder of Western Conference. Lose in first round...repeat as necessary. As long as you follow these steps you will find your self with multiple Sheriff badges all over the greater United States.
One measuring stick of a great teammate is the lack of geographical movement in his career. Look at Favre, Tony Gwynn, Montana, etc. O'Neal has been traded and dealt a great deal for someone with his talent at such a valued position. Sure Kobe is egotistical and power hungry. The only thing I cared about is his work ethic. But Shaq gets a free pass. He always has.
In his Laker walk year, he dunked a ball in training camp ran up the floor and yelled for Jerry Buss to "pay me mother------."
The Lakers did pay him, at least they tried to. He rejected their offer to be the highest paid player and essentially painted Los Angeles into a corner.
So he left. Traded. Laker fans killed Kobe for it. Yet many in Los Angeles don't give Shaq the same scrutiny. He not only lambasted Kobe when leaving L.A. he threw the whole city and their fans under the bus. In relating to Los Angeles he stated "real, real fake. This (Miami) is a more real place." Yes Shaq, Miami has never been known as little Los Angeles. Things are much different there.
He has done this multiple times. Most recently ripping on Miami when traded to the Suns. In both cases his former employer sent him to warm weather and teams in contention giving him no reason to whine.
True, Shaq can make me laugh. The way he makes new monikers for himself is quite astounding. I just didn't think it was so unbelievable as to get him a free pass for so long. His latest transgression may have been blown a little out of proportion, but it is symptomatic of his career. Shaquille has never been the bigger man.