Well, Tim and Sidizens, as discussed on the Tim and Sid: Uncut radio show today, one of the greatest to have ever played has retired from the game of basketball. After 19 seasons in the NBA, the Big Aristotle, Shaquille O’Neal has retired. For me personally, it’s the end of an era, the end of a career of a player who I would rank in my top 10. Whether you loved him or hated him, you can’t deny that he was not only one of the greatest big men to play the game, but he definitely goes down as one of the greatest entertainers in sports.
A lot of emotions come up for me discussing Shaq because the year he entered the league was the same year I started playing provincial basketball. And at that time, if you weren’t pretending to be Michael Jordan, you were pretending to be Shaq Fu.
I could sit here and write out all of his awards, titles, achievements, and stats that the big man collected over the 19 years, but I’m sure there’s already thousands of articles out there already doing that. So, in honour of the big fella, I thought I would discuss the many things that I remember when thinking of Shaq that didn’t include his play on the court.
1. My 1992 – 93 Upper Deck Rookie Card. This was the second set I ever attempted to collect and thought I hit the mother load when I pulled this out of the packet one day. If I remember correctly, the package said if I sent the card into UD, I’d receive a prize. Instead, I kept the card – valued at about $7.
2. Blue Chips. Forget Kazaam – remember this 1994 movie role. It’s currently on Netflix Canada. I might have to watch it this evening to celebrate the big fella.
3. The War on the Floor! One-on-One vs.Hakeem. The show never happened because the Dream pulled out with a back injury but I remember spending many a night on the court with my friend Mark playing one-on-one, leading up to the PPV, pretending we were one of the NBA beasts.
4. Shaq Diesel and Shaq Fu: Da Return albums. I’m one of probably 4 people to have bought these records. I’m ashamed to say this, but I actually thought this guy had some rhymes. When I came home this evening, I called back home and told the moms that she had to look for these 2 CD’s in the attic and send them to me. At least he was singing about real stuff that was important to him – check out “I’m Outstanding” and if you really want to hear a touching song, listen to “Biological Didn’t Bother“
5. Shaq Fu for Super Nintendo. After speaking with a kung fu master in Japan, Shaq falls into another dimension and has to save some young kid. Pure entertainment.
6. The 1993 – 94 Pepsi Ads. If you ever watched NBA Inside Stuff with Ahmad Rashad Saturday mornings, you would have seen these ads during every commercial break. Ah, the memories. Right up there with his Taco Bell ads w/ Hakeem.
7. Reebok Shaq Attaq (Attack). These hideous shoes. I remember Paul Caines walking into one of our first practices of the year wearing these things. I didn’t know what he was thinking.
Other notables, but more recent would have to be his ABC show Shaq Vs., his wrestling stint in 2009 against the Big Show, Shaquita, he was given a honorary U.S. Deputy Marshal title, is currently working on his PhD., and when he married Hoopz, Flavor Flav’s sloppy seconds. The list goes on!
From all the Tim and Sidizens, you’ll be missed Shaq, but I have a feeling this won’t be the last we hear from you. You truly did have one of the biggest hearts in the game.
* As usual, the Tim and Sid: Uncut daily review will be up this evening or tomorrow morning.