SRI continues to work in new writers preparing for the upcoming football season. This post is courtesy of Tim Gunter from 790 the Zone in Atlanta.
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most likable guys in all of sports. The so-called ‘Shaq Diesel’ has embraced technology and has reached out to millions via Twitter, UStream, and now TV. His new ‘Shaq vs.” television show has him train and compete against some of the world’s top athletes, such as, Albert Pujols, Oscar De La Hoya, and Michael Phelps to name a few. Needless to say, there is not a dull moment with this guy. There is not a thing in the world that Shaq doesn’t believe he can do as long as he puts the time into training. (editor’s note: imagine if Shaq actually put the time into working on his hoops game and free throw shooting) Shaq joined KLAC in LA to talk about what it’s like to compete against top athletes, whether ‘Shaq vs.’ was Steve Nash’s idea, and his thoughts on playing with LeBron in Cleveland.
What was it like competing against Big Ben in Pittsburgh?
“I mean I admit, I am one of those couch potato bravado guys that sit on the couch and analyze everything and say to myself that I can do it. So you know for example, the play that he had in the Super Bowl where you know he made the great pass. I’m the type of guy that if you give me the same blocking I make the same pass in the corner same results touchdown. So I just wanted to go up against the other great athletes at their sport to see how I fair up.”
Upcoming is the Albert Pujols HR Derby episode. Did you play Little League growing up?
“I played one year. I played first base. (Host: Who could have seen that coming, a giant dude playing first base?) It was fun. You know you got to hang out with these guys and see how they are. And now you truly understand why they are great at what they do. However, I think if I had the same training, the same focus that they have, that each individual sport I think I could have been the same Shaquille O’Neal at each individual sport.”
Was this Steve Nash’s original idea?
“No, there is no friction. You know guys in the media just be running their mouths sometimes. The story was created by me at my house after we saw Michael Phelps swim. Somebody asked me, “Do you think Michael Phelps goes down and back and you just go down, you could beat him?” That right there was the whole premise of the show. Steve had a similar idea. We’ve had many conversations on the bus. With me being the teammate that I am, I made him Executive Producer. But you know the story. Everything that Shaquille O’Neal has done is being created by the little boy named Shaquille O’Neal Inside the Big Guy Named Shaquille O’Neal. All the commercials for 17 years, I’ve created. All the stuff I do on the internet that gets me in trouble, I created. It was all done by me so you know but I’m a good teammate. I made him Executive Producer but you know he had a similar idea just like just training with the stars. Mine is training with them and competing against them.”
What are your thoughts on being in Cleveland this season?
“I’m already being added to a team that was pretty good without me. So if we just stay healthy, keep playing the same way, keep doing to things the right way, I love our chances. It’s kind of bad luck at the beginning. ‘we’re gonna win. We’re gonna win.’ There’s a formula that has to be followed correctly. You know a formula that I learned from the great Phil Jackson and I went to Miami and I took it there and it worked. So you know, one game at a time, one month at a time, everybody on the right track. If we do that, I love our chances.”