“Somebody out there was trying to use my language and trying to speak for me,” O’Neal, sounding more amused than offended, said Wednesday night in a telephone interview. “Rather than have that happen, I thought I’d do it myself.” O’Neal added: “It’s a fun thing. It’s a way for fans to connect.”
Used to dashing off one-liners to reporters during pre- and post-game interviews, O’Neal is a natural at Twitter’s short format. He’s already cleared the murky air about his feelings regarding ex-coach Phil Jackson and ex-teammate Kobe Bryant directly to his fans:
This is straight from the shaqs mouth I love phil jackson Kobe bryant is the best palyer in the game And the shaq kobe, kobe shaq was the best one two
One of the biggest uses of Twitter is for namedropping; Shaq picked up on that right away:
I just texted gary payton, one of the greatest point guards ever
He’s also urging his teammates to hop on the bandwagon:
Sittin next to steve nash, tryna get hi to join twitter
When Shaq said “it’s a way for fans to connect”, he wasn’t just blowing smoke. After a friend of mine followed THE_REAL_SHAQ early on, Shaq followed him back. My friend then sent him a direct message about something Shaq had said in an interview once and an hour later, a reply from Shaq: “gimme a numba 2 call”. And then Shaq called him for a brief chat an hour or two later!
Best of all, he’s having fun with it. On Friday, Shaq posted this photo to TwitPic:
That says it all, no? Tweet on, Shaq…we’re following you.