You can’t help but look up to Shaq..physically. My neck is still craning from our one-on-one interview at his book signing. As I read more of “Shaq: Uncut…my story” , I’m also starting to look up more to him as a person.
He’s far from perfect. By his own admission, he wasn’t the best husband. However, he shows a refreshing lack of self-centeredness that can be hard to find in superstar athletes. He seems to look at things the way I would if I were in his shoes. He didn’t dig Pat Riley’s my-way-or-the-highway coaching style. I probably wouldn’t have either.
I chuckled when he described former Heat center Alonzo Mourning as a “robot.” Zo certainly had a cyborg-like physique and workmanlike approach to playing, almost the exact opposite of the fun-loving O’ Neal.
Shaq got chastized for coasting by on his considerable talent. “If only he worked at it”, critics said. Shaq, however, understood how HE needed to prepare. It was better to be beefy at the start of the season to take all those licks he knew were coming. Come playoff time, the diesel was chiseled. In his prime, he steamrolled everybody.
I respect a man for knowing his limits…good and bad. Shaq seems to get it. I didn’t like covering him when he intentionally mumbled through interviews with the Heat. But now that he’s got something to say…I’m listening. I actually think it will be worth it.