An Ode to Shaq Diesel; My all-time favorite player


“Father Time has caught up with Shaquille O’Neal.”

Maybe in a basketball sense, but Shaq Diese is still the most charismatic, young at heart, entertaining athlete off the court, in professional sports history. Today, was extremely melancholy for me. I had a congruous feeling inside to when having to put a pet to sleep or getting wind of a death of someone I once knew. In my entire lifetime, there has never been a player I rooted more for then Shaquille O’Neal. Not even close.

I remember when he exploded onto the scene 19 years ago, and since the very first time I saw him on the basketball court, I was hooked. This was just when my second favorite player of all-time, Michael Jordan, was retiring for the first time to play baseball. My God, that was a blessing for the NBA, as it otherwise could have hit an all-time ratings low.

I will never lose consciousness of the Orlando years, as they improved 20 wins in his inaugural season with the team, as he averaged 23.4 points on 56.2% shooting, 13.9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game for the season. That’s a much more exceptional stat line then current “Superman” Dwight Howard has ever put up, and I consider him one of the top 3 players in the NBA. In his second season, his average gravitated to 29.4 and roosted in this vicinity for TEN SEASONS!

If your old, turn down the music and watch this below video. It’s got me dancing though!

In only his third season, Shaq escorted Orlando to the NBA finals to encounter the Houston Rockets. Now, you have to understand that Hakeem Olajuwon was in his absolute prime, and was never better at his craft then he was at that moment. It huuuuurt me so bad inside to see “the Dream” school O’Neal offensively. Although Shaq averaged 28 points, Hakeem outpointed him in each outing as Houston swept the series. I WILL NEVER forgive Nick Anderson for what he did. With the Magic up by three points late in Game 1, Nick Anderson missed four consecutive free throws in the closing seconds of the game, and Kenny Smith hit a three pointer, tying the game, and sending it to overtime, where Houston eventually won. FOUR CONSECUTIVE FREE THROWS???? FU#%!!! It’s making me livid right now. Who knows what happens if an extremely youthful Orlando team gets that first win. Maybe their confidence goes through the roof and they win the series. Shaq says it best as he always uses this line: “I don’t believe in if’s.” More people, including myself should live by that motto. His Orlando years were my favorite time in his career. He just looked right in those colors. He was just perfect with Penny Hardaway and the rest of the supporting cast. It was sad to see him go…… NICKY YOUR DONE IN THE STREETS OF ORLANDO!!! Watch this for some incredible basketball and the ultimate choke job

“My personal opinion is, how, if you never hung out with somebody, do you know them so well? I never hung out with that dude because the dude is a weirdo.” (Referring to Kobe Bryant.)

How in God’s name do you expect me to be a fan of Kobe Bryant?? If Shaq, one of the friendliest, giving, athletes in history hates you with a passion, there must be something wrong. For anyone to have ever witnessed Kobe’s early years, trying to sound and interview like Jordan, and even stick his tongue out like his Airness, and still like him just baffles me. His feud with Shaq was the cherry on the top for me and I’ve hated him with the passion ever since. For 3 of Bryant’s titles, he was the 2nd option behind Shaq Fu. Would Jordan ever been second fiddle to anyone EVER, in his career. Shouldn’t Kobe be licking the “big aristotle’s” hairy bean bag for the 3 rings, considering O’Neal was named MVP of the NBA Finals all three times and had the highest scoring average for a center in NBA Finals HISTORY. Seriously, look up the stats! The numbers are crazy. I mean, I feel like they could have won 4 more titles at least being on the same but having to deal with a d-bag like Bryant on the regular could make any real man want to leave. Kobe’s a fun boy but this video below is nothing to play with. Once again, turn down volume if your easily offended as I couldn’t find anything edited.

Check out these priceless comments by Shaq Chamberneezy after forcing his way into a trade to Miami!

Lakers owner Jerry Buss said Wednesday he didn’t regret trading O’Neal to the Heat despite the Lakers’ struggles this season without him.
O’Neal responded to Buss’ comments Thursday.
“I don’t regret him losing money and him not making the playoffs,” O’Neal said.
Buss also said that O’Neal lost weight last off-season (approximately 30 pounds) only because the trade to Miami motivated him.
O’Neal refuted that claim while taking a shot at his former team’s owner.
“I didn’t need motivation,” O’Neal said. “I needed a real owner like Micky Arison, not a guy that parties with girls three times [younger than him] — when you’re 60, hang out with 60-year-olds, not 20-year-olds. You can quote me on that. I’ve got nothing else to say about Jerry Buss.”

HAHAHAHHAHAH! It never stops. The guy has a quote list longer then the next funniest 10 athletes combined.

Upon arriving in Miami, O’Neal promised the fans he would bring them their first championship and he delivered. In his 2nd season back in Florida, the Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks behind an incredible finals performance from D-Wade. Best believe they never would’ve got there if not for Shaq. Making this even better, was the Laker’s embarrassing performances without the big guy around. Bryant was obviously no Michael Jordan, and L.A. was nothing close to a contender for a few more seasons boosted by their robbery of Pau Gasol.

I’m not going to write much more about what Shaq did for the rest of his career but I will say this. When not injured, Shaq was still a top 3 center in the NBA as late as 2 years ago. That says something about the talent level of centers in the NBA these days, but still, an impressive feat nonetheless.

Shaq told Stephen A. Smith about Rick Barry’s long-standing offer to teach him to shoot free throws underhand:
“Rick Barry’s resume is not good enough to even come into my office to be qualified for a job. I will shoot negative-30 percent before I shoot underhanded,” Shaq said.
All we’re gonna say is that Rick is in the Hall of Fame, has a ring, averaged 23 points a game over his career, and shot 90 percent from the stripe.

God I love it!

O’Neal retires fifth all-time with 28,596 points, 12th with 13,099 rebounds and second only to Artis Gilmore among players with more than 2,000 baskets with a .582 field goal percentage. The big dog also has the aforementioned 3 NBA Finals MVP’s, putting him in a tie for 2nd all-time behind only MJ. In my mind, he is the most dominant player in history. For someone my age, I feel I give Wilt Chamberlain the respect he deserves, not only for bedding millions of women and starring in a “Conan the Barbarian” movie, but for putting up the craziest stats of all time. You have to look at that competition though, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Diesel would have done the same. The league has seen nothing like Shaq, and probably never will again. Current dominant big man, Dwight Howard, can’t even hold a candle to the Big Shamrock. Olajuwon and David Robinson had a few seasons where they could hang or sometimes outperform O’Neal but nothing close to his body of work. Imagine if O’Neal had stayed in top shape. That has been one of his main criticisms, and rightfully so, but damn it’s been enjoyable to hear his responses when asked about his weight, and to see all his off the court interests blossom. He was able to win 4 titles, ALONG with being the most successful off the court player fame wise, other then Jordan. Yep, you know I bought his platinum debut, “Shaq Diesel.” I can’t lie, I used to bang that on the regular. It truly isn’t bad. “Blue Chips?????????” If your into sports and you don’t think that’s a classic, you may need to pursue finding a new blog.

“Do you want me to shoot it? Nooo! Do you want me to pass it? Noooo! Do you want me to slaaaaam?” Yeeeaaaaah

Does anyone recall the backboards being ripped down? Anyone remember him dancing with the Jabbawockeez in Phoenix during all-star game then going out and winning Co-MVP of that game? All his hysterical commercials? Anyone remember his 1999–00 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, and three NBA All-Defensive Team selections. He is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year. ANYBODY??

By the way, the fact that he only has 1 MVP is one of the biggest travesty’s in this nation’s history and that’s not even remotely close to being an over exaggeration I will always have my O’Neal autographed practice jersey framed and his autographed picture on a plaque hung on my wall. There will never be another Diesel. You will be missed. Can You diiiiiiiiig IIIIIIIIT!!!