We see Shaq as a larger than life persona. Shaq Attaq, the Big Diesel, The Big Aristotle. We laugh when he asks Kobe how his ass tastes and we wonder when he’s going to take another shot at a former teammate.
West is taking a low public profile this season, refusing all interviews. But when he learned the topic was Shaq, there were some strong thoughts West wanted to share, that he needed to share.
“This is about Shaq?” he asked.
About Shaq, yes.
“Well then, you need to know something. He’s like a big brother for me right now, as far as everything that’s going on in my life. Just seeing how he handles things is an inspiration to me. This is someone who has been around the world. He gives me advice every day. He’ll lay down and die for you, and that’s my type of guy. He’s an amazing person, someone I can’t even begin to describe. A big influence in my life.”
I’ve never thought about Shaq like this before. I’ve never seen him as the type of guy who will “lay down and die for you.” Most of the time, I flip-flop between thinking he’s hilarious and thinking he’s an asshole. It’s funny when he takes a shot at Mo Williams or Chris Quinn, but when you think about it, that ain’t cool.
Now, after reading that Delonte basically called Shaq an angel, I don’t even know what to think any more. Is Shaq the big funny man who can be a bit of an asshole, or is he “an amazing person, someone I can’t even begin to describe”?
Who knows? What I do know is that it will be good for Delonte that Shaq is in Beantown. When you have bipolar disorder, it can’t be a bad thing to have a close support group of old friends.