7 Most Ridiculous Things Shaquille O'Neal Has Said on TNT
The mumbling yet charming Shaq has had a rough first season with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley, and at this point it seems like things can only get better, but who knows?
Shaq has had his moments on the show. He's beat Chuck in a few games, and when it comes time to be a big, silly guy like he's been throughout his entire career, he really can knock it out of the park. It's when he has to say something of merit that he starts to lose us.
O'Neal has been awful at times and decent on other occasions, but one thing is for sure: He's definitely still learning this television thing.
So what are the lowlights of the year so far from the big dummy, and what are some of the dumbest things to come from Shaq's mumbling mouth? Well, let's take a look.
7. Assessing His Performance
This first quote I have from Shaq doesn't come from his on-air duties at TNT, but rather from an interview where he was discussing his role on the show.
When Vibe gave him the opportunity to evaluate his first year with the show, Shaq was hard on himself, but I'm not sure if he was being hard enough:
I’m at a low -C. I’m learning and will only get better. I just want to keep people entertained. I don’t want to be talking with the big vocabulary and all that bullshit. I’m short and to the point. I’m very educated and can give you somewhat of a vocabulary, but I don’t get to the philosophical side.
At least Shaq isn't out there thinking he's throwing down historic performances night in and night out, but I wouldn't be able to give him much more than a D for this season—unless, of course, he kicks it into high gear for the playoffs, which he's been known to do.
6. His ESPN-Watching Habits
All year long a big topic that has been continuously coming up between the guys on Inside the NBA is that of weight: Chuck losing weight, Shaq continuing to be his not-so-trim self and plenty of back-and-forth banter about the topic.
When Jalen Rose chimed in on the topic in February, wondering whether or not Shaq could even close his suit jacket, Shaq took the stone-faced route in an attempt to diss Rose, saying, "I only watch two people on ESPN, Stephen A. and my main man Skip Bayless; I don't know who Jalen Rose is."
Well, that was almost funny, but the real travesty here is that the only show Shaq watches on ESPN is First Take, which has become the epitome of hyperbole over the years.
5. Shaq with a Live Mic
We all know from his days as a player that Shaq doesn't give a damn about whether he's on live television or not, so naturally making him an analyst on a live television show was the right choice. That's why it was just a matter of time before Shaq's mouth slipped before his brain could stop the four-letter words from flowing.
It only took a few weeks into his broadcasting career, and with the show going to a commercial break, Shaq made the mistake of thinking that his microphone was turned off and started talking to the rest of the gang. In between mumbles, a very evident "sh*t" was audible, which Kenny Smith tried to cover up with a strange, "Whoa!"
Oh well, it's best to get these things out of the way early.
4. Is That Really the Sound a Net Makes?
This was the most confusing few minutes of explanation that I've ever had to endure on live television, when Shaq was trying to tell Ernie Johnson that when a really good shooter makes a shot, the net makes a very distinct noise.
That noise, according to Shaq, is "Yak-yak!"
Look, he's been and around the NBA for the better part of two decades, so far be it from me to say he doesn't know what he's talking about. However, never in my days have I heard a net go "Yak-yak!"—no matter how hard I try to hear it.
3. Ricky Rubio Is What?
Before Ricky Rubio had torn his ACL, sending him out of the game for the season, everyone was enthralled with the way he played the game, as many were likening him to a young Pistol Pete.
Well, Shaq tended to agree that he had a bit of Pete Maravich in him, so he decided to do what he thinks he's best at and tried giving him a nickname.
Shaq dubbed Rubio "The Italian Pete Maravich" before realizing the mistake he made and taking it back. You see, that's a decent nickname were Rubio Italian, but the dazzling point guard happens to be Spanish.
2. Don't Worry, I Can't Do Math Either, Shaq
Early on in the season, back when the Golden State Warriors were feeling like fouling big men endlessly was the only way to play defense, Dwight Howard ended up attempting 39 free throws, tying Shaq's record for most free-throw attempts in a game.
Amid the arguments about Shaq being a poor free-throw shooter, we find out that Shaq made 18 of those 39 free throws back in 2000, to which Shaq responded, "At least it's over 50 percent."
For those of you scoring at home, 18 made free throws out of 39 would be 46 percent, or just under 50 percent.
Thankfully, as Charles looked on incredulously, Shaq figured things out for himself: "18 plus 18 is 36, and I went 18 for 39. Oh yeah, you're right." Hilarity ensued.
1. Mrumbhrgrubh Brumgruh Frumguhduh
One of the best moments from Saturday Night Live this year came as the cast did their portrayal of Inside the NBA, with Charles Barkley, who was hosting, playing Shaquille O'Neal.
As Kenan Thompson so eloquently put it as Charles Barkley, "Man Shaq, you gotta enunciate. You make me sound like Sidney Portierarrrr," followed by, "Oh yeah, he's got four rings, and it sounds like they're all stuck in his throat."
I couldn't have put it any better myself.
It seems that whenever the show settles down and they actually start talking about basketball, Shaq may have some insightful things to say, but we're always straining to hear exactly what it is that he's saying. It's like been working on his Mushmouth impersonation for the past 15 years just so he could perfect it and unleash it on this show.
Perhaps we can get subtitles for the big fellow, because he might actually be contributing to the show without us knowing it.
If you are one of those twitterers, you can follow me @JDorsey33.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!