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kottke.org posts about Shaquille OÕNeal

The other drama

posted by Jason Kottke   May 27, 2009

During the TV coverage of the NBA playoffs, the NBA is running commercials showing great moments in playoff history that have been edited to isolate the players from the crowd. There’s Bird stealing the inbound pass, Dr. J’s improbable behind-the-backboard reverse layup, and Kobe lobbing the ball to Shaq for a thunderous dunk.

The Kobe/Shaq clip is worth a closer look because although the NBA picked this clip because it represents a dramatic moment in the NBA playoffs involving two of the best players in history on a storied team, what it actually shows is how dysfunctional Shaq and Kobe’s relationship was even then, in their first championship season.

Bryant creates 95% of the offense here by crossing Pippen over and throwing a perfect lob to O’Neal. O’Neal throws it down and the camera follows him as he heads down the court yelling in celebration, totally blowing right past Kobe, who has his hand out to high-five Shaq. Kobe half-heartedly grabs at O’Neal’s forearm as he passes; Shaq doesn’t even notice. From his celebration, you’d think Shaq had made an amazing play, but Kobe made that whole thing happen. And if you look at the box score for the game, it was clearly Bryant’s game: he had 25 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 blocks to O’Neal’s 18/9/5/1.

The unedited clip of the play1 shows an awkward ending to this awkward moment. After celebrating with the Laker bench, Shaq looks for Kobe and the two finally acknowledge the play together. But it’s a brief moment; they slap hands and go their separate ways, foreshadowing Shaq’s departure four years later.

[1] What’s also striking about the clip is that it shows just how much Kobe has improved the mechanics of his game since then. Even though he makes a great play here, he’s still got those jittery feet that characterized his early career, at times looking like a dog skittering around on freshly polished linoleum. Any stuttering footwork is now long gone, replaced by the silkiest and smoothest of movement.

Update: fxguide has a good look at how these commercials were made from a technical standpoint.

Shaq tweets

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 23, 2009

After Shaq tweets that he’s hanging out at a local diner in Phoenix, two nervous Twitter users venture out to see if Shaq is actually THE_REAL_SHAQ.

Returning to our hushed whispers I asked Sean, “Should we go talk to him now?” “I don’t know, should we?”

“Yes, you should” a very deep voice entered our conversation from 2 booths over.

(via truehoop)

Shaq on Twitter

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 24, 2008

And thus ends the first full week of Twittering by Shaquille O’Neal. The real Shaquille O’Neal. The NY Times has the details. Apparently Shaq was spurred into tweeting by an imposter posing as him:

“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:

Shaq Wig

That says it all, no? Tweet on, Shaq…we’re following you.

Comedian Aries Spears does awesome impressions of

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 10, 2006

Comedian Aries Spears does awesome impressions of LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, DMX, and Jay-Z. Here’s a shorter bit of him doing Michael Jordan and Shaq. (via zach)

Classic quote from Shaq comparing the three

posted by Jason Kottke   May 31, 2006

Classic quote from Shaq comparing the three guards he’s played with to Vito Corleone’s sons in The Godfather. Penny = Fredo, Kobe = Sonny, and Dwyane Wade = Michael.

The names of Kobe Bryant’s and Shaq’s

posted by Jason Kottke   May 01, 2006

The names of Kobe Bryant’s and Shaq’s kids: Gianna, Natalia, Mearah, Taahhirah, Amirah, Myles, Shareef, and Shaqir.