Cleveland, OH: Actor/rapper/social satirist Shaquille O’Neal announced this morning that, having attempted nearly every other career field known to man, he will begin in the fall to play professional basketball.
O’Neal, who is best known for his well-composed postings on Twitter, has had a varied career. Shaq’s first love, of course, was music; he has had a half-dozen releases, selling literally dozens of copies. He has spent time in Hollywood, starring in such blockbusters as Kazaam, Steel, and Scary Movie 4. When he was not able to demand the salary of a Harrison Ford or a Justin Long, he moved on. He has been a deputized law officer for some time, inspiring Steven Segal to enter into law enforcement himself.
Most recently, Shaq debuted a reality show on ABC called “Shaq Vs.” where he competes with athletes such as Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Phelps in their own field. The idea to pursue a career in the NBA arose after he competed in an episode with NBA player Yao Ming and performed fairly well. Shaq Vs. producer Bob Roenick said, “It was almost as if he’d been playing his whole life. When he got on the court against Yao, he just dominated. Granted, it’s not hard to dominate when playing against a 7′ 6″ man made out of cotton candy, but still.”
After careful consideration, Shaq chose the Cleveland Cavaliers as the place to start his career. “I wanted to pick a city where I wouldn’t be in the spotlight. After all, I’m not really much of a publicity hound. I just wanted a place where I wouldn’t get any attention… and a city like Cleveland, Ohio, certainly fit the bill. I didn’t even recognize any of the names on the roster,” said O’Neal.
Reactions around the league have been mixed. Kobe Bryant, superstar for the Los Angeles Lakers, said, “I don’t imagine he’ll bring anything to the table. Even if they win a championship, it’s not like anyone will say that LeBron couldn’t have won the big game without him. That would just be ridiculous, right? Err, right? RIGHT???” On the other hand, free agent Allen Iverson was reported as saying, “Hey, why not? It’s not like he’s desperately clinging to a game that he should have let go of a long time ago.”
Already, preparations are underway in Cleveland for the coming of the Big Whatever-his-nickname-is. The basketball court at Quicken Loans Arena is being reinforced, and the treadmills in the Cavaliers’ training facility are being reprogrammed to not run for more than 10 seconds at a time. “We are making every accommodation in hopes that his grand success in rapping and acting translate into equal success on the basketball court,” said head coach Mike Brown.
When reached on Twitter for comment, O’Neal replied, “I think its great yo lol. Ya bettah rspct tha Diesel. Now go RT this to tha world.”