Shaq wasn’t exactly on time (or anywhere close to it) for the reception following the Celtics’ charity golf tournament.
He was two hours late, which — if he played on my college team — would have meant that he owed my coach 120 suicides. One for each minute late. In other words, he would have owed my college coach hell. It’s a good thing Shaq’s a little too old (and maybe a little too good) to play Division III ball, huh?
He’s playing for the Boston Celtics instead, and he’s excited about it. (Boston Herald)
“I’ve been having some nice runs with the guys and nice conversations with the guys. We’re really looking forward to it,” O’Neal said. “I look at some of the old Celtics teams where you have at least three or four Hall of Famers on the court at once. Today, I was just looking at Paul (Pierce), looking at Ray (Allen), looking at (Kevin) Garnett and looking at all the other guys. I really look forward to Monday.”
“Five years ago I stopped looking at the individual things – scoring, defense, all that type of stuff,” O’Neal said. “Whatever they need me to do, I’m going to do.”
Even if the plan is for O’Neal to come off the bench, the 15-time All Star said he’s on board.
“It doesn’t matter,” he said. “Me and Doc have had many conversations. I’m at the point in my career where being all about me is over with. I’ve done it my way for 18 years and I got a hell of a record. I’m here for the guys, I’m here for the city, so whatever Doc and the city of Boston needs me to do that’s what I’m going to do.”
Shaq’s also made at least a couple friends, Semih Erden and Nate Robinson. No offense meant, but those are a couple odd friendships. Shaq the oak tree with Nate the oompa-loompa, and Shaq the egotistical star with Semih the Turkish rookie. (Boston Herald)
“I’ve been talking to the guy from Turkey, Semih [Erden],’’ O’Neal said. “We’ve been having some conversations — in Arabic, of course.’’
He’s already won over Nate Robinson, whose locker is next to O’Neal’s.
“Every day he comes in with these Superman pajamas on,’’ Robinson said. “I’m kind of getting tired of those already. But he’s a real fun guy. He’s one of those kinds of guys you play on a team with where I can always tell my kids I played with one of the all-time greats.’’
While the media waited for Shaq, a helicopter landed at the golf course. The media, of course, expected that the Big Diesel was making one hell of an entrance. The person who arrived through the air was just the course owner, but the media’s belief that the helicopter transported Shaq offers a clue to the media circus Shaq brings to Boston.
Even at 38 years old, the monster loves fun. Even at 38, he’s as unpredictable as ever, whether it’s walking into practice each day wearing Superman pajamas, making nice with Semih Erden, or showing up two hours late for a charity reception.
While we’re talking about Shaq’s punctuality, the Globe’s Julian Benbow suggested, “the 18-year veteran has earned the right to operate on his own clock.” Not if you ask my college coach. He wouldn’t have cared if Shaq was a college freshman, 38 years old, an 18-year NBA veteran or the President of the United freaking States. Shaq would have been running those goddamn suicides, like it or not.