Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Shaq-a-Wockeez or Shaq-is-a-Wackeez:
My guy "Shaq" is the best. In fact, on my all-time list of faves, he's right up there with Charles Barkley. O'Neal's personality hasn't changed since he was a young buck back in '92 when we first met at the NBA Draft in Portland. I loved working with him in '94 and '96 at the World Championship (Toronto) and the Olympics (Atlanta). There are 100s of favorite memories, so I'll share just one story and it's a quick one. One off-day at the '96 Atlanta Olympics, we visited all of the International Broadcasters in the IBC -- which is Olympic-speak for Int'l Broadcast Center. Shaq grabbed a golf cart and we started zipping around the hallways with his good friend, Jerome, at the wheel. (I was on back holding on for dear life). I will always remember the looks of disbelief from the sports anchors of FR-1 in France as we broke into the studio and Shaq appeared on the set, making good on a promise to Jacques Monclare - our dear friend and then-head coach at Antibes - who was doing Olympic basketball color commentary.
Here's my salute to Shaq - THE BIG SENTIMENTAL.
(Thanks AGAIN for the nice bottle of wine at my last NBA ASW, young fella.)