Being four and a half decades old, maybe it’s the ‘old school’ in me, but I swear, I’ve never seen so many professional athletes that put the ‘jack’ in jackass as the ones that play in today’s me-first, ‘microwave’ times!
And no, it’s not me just yearning for the good ol’ days when guys Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Dr. J. routinely displayed their respective brands of on-court greatness. What I also remember is that these guys were real men that were class acts off the court. Unfortunately, we rarely see those kinds of classy athletes today.
Or … maybe I’m just sick and tired of today’s overpaid, overbearing and flat-out spoiled, million dollar professional athletes stooping to new lows both on and off the playing field.
Yeah, that’s it. I’m just growing weary of guys shooting their mouths off about the most nonsensical topics under the sun. More importantly, I’m absolutely sick and tired of low-life sports figures trying to trash and tarnish the reputations of some retired or deceased legend, no matter the sport.
Two months ago, there was that idiotic writer (and I do use that term loosely) Jeff Pearlman, trashing deceased NFL legend Walter Payton by sharing a ton of personal events and issues that allegedly occurred in Payton’s life and that not many people care about today.
Much to Pearlman’s chagrin, nearly every football fan, analysts and writer in the nation, not to mention many of Payton’s former teammates and opponents, immediately trashed Pearlman for his foolish attempt to disgrace the beloved legend.
Now taking center stage in the sporting world’s ‘jackass’ department, we’ve got recently retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal trashing his former teammates, coaches and NBA legends in his recent book with Jackie McMullen.
Last week we found out that Shaq and Kobe had even bigger problems than we all thought (whoopee) and that O’Neal wanted to punch out coaching legend Pat Riley (wow, that’s a shocker). This week, O’Neal really made a fool of himself by trying to trash former Lakers’ legend and the league’s all-time scoring leader, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
I, for one, have a few choice words for the loud-mouthed O’Neal. Shut the hell up Shaq … please! Do yourself a favor and save all of your idiotic comments for the time you begin your new role as an NBA ‘analyst’ (again, we’re using that term loosely) for TNT.
I’m sick and tired of O’Neal’s foolishness, not to mention LeBron James’ and Dwyane Wade’s increasingly disturbing lack of on and off-court class. However, I’m here to talk about O’Neal’s most recent transgression, his ill-tempered comments about O’Neal.
Here are excerpts released from O’Neal’s book on Sunday.
“Kareem was never around. And, whenever I did see him, he usually ignored me. The disappointing thing to me was, being in L.A. all those years and trying to fill those shoes, I would have liked to have a conversation with him … He’d say hello, but I was looking for, ‘Hey, do this’ or ‘Watch out for that.’ He knew everyone was comparing me to him. He knew better than anyone what I was up against, but he gave me nothing.”
Of course, in today’s high-tech times, news travels fast, like really fast, prompting a reply from the sky hook master via his personal Facebook page.
“I went down to LSU and worked with Shaq on the fundamentals of the Skyhook as a favor to Coach Dale Brown. I spent time with Shaq in the gym and gave him some drills he could use to develop the hook shot. But when I followed up with his Coach, Dale Brown, I was told that Shaq’s father told his son he didn’t need to develop a hook shot and all he needed to … do was smash everything into the basket. Shaq’s fathers felt that he was so overpowering physically that he should just dunk everything and not worry about developing a finesse shot like the Skyhook,” he wrote.
The league’s all-time scoring leader then shared a bit more of his thoughts on the subject.
“As a pro I never approached Shaq because I thought he was pretty successful dunking everything and I assumed he didn’t want my help. Additionally, I was never on the coaching staff of any of his teams. I was never unfriendly to him and I would talk to him, but Shaq was enjoying his success, doing it his way. He never asked me of what I thought he should be doing and he never tried to reach out to me for any instruction and I respected that decision.
“If I had any idea that Shaq wanted to learn from me, I would have been happy to have worked with him, but all indications that I had received was that he felt he was doing fine and he didn’t need or want my help. I am totally surprised by Shaq’s comments as I tried to respect his privacy and never got any indication from anyone that he wanted or needed any input from me with regard to how he played the game. Shaq had a great career, and I like everyone else, respect what he has achieved.”
Now maybe it’s me, but even with his response, Kareem showed an elegance that is far beyond Shaquille O’Neal’s comprehension and that is just sad – and it says a lot about who O’Neal is as a person.
Apparently, I’m not the only one that is completely fed up with O’Neal’s antics. Here are some comments about O’Neal from around the web.
This is starting to get annoying, just shut the hell up! I lost a little respect for Shaq.…more
Nothing but respect for both of these guys as players…but as a person, it seems Kareem is a sky hook above Shaq.
Shaq was a great player, a hall of famer, and an awesome champion but he doesn’t hold a candle to Kareem in any aspect of life. …more
This makes Shaq look weak. Kareem is an old man and a hell of a human being.
What a bitter, whiney child. Kareem’s response was like the man himself: informed, eloquent.
I sincerely hope O’Neal gets the message and doesn’t continue his loathsome bashing, because in the end, all he’s going to do is tarnish his own image, as a man….more