It was a simpler time—a time before Shaquille O'Neal was reduced to hawking Gold Bond lotion for cash and Bill Russell was forced to apologize for bringing a loaded firearm onto a plane. It was an age of titans!
This jewel of a video—recently uploaded to YouTube—shows a younger, noticeably slimmer Shaq meeting with legendary bigs Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Russell, along with the Wizard of Westwood himself, Mr. John Wooden. Judging by Shaq's waistline alone, this video looks like it was shot in the early to mid-'90s.
Sadly, both Chamberlain and Wooden have since passed on, which makes this video a priceless time capsule of basketball greatness.
Some quick takeaways from the video:
- Coach Wooden was famous for never using profanity in his practices, but Chamberlain and Russell obviously took a different approach to cussin' in public.
- Wear formal shoes with a suit, Walton, you dirty hippie!
- Wilt probably went to his grave complaining about zone defenses.
- The old UCLA-University of San Francisco beef will never die!
- Russell may have an intimidating scowl, but his laugh is far more intimidating. I bet crafty ol' Red Auerbach used to keep a joke book in his pocket to crack up Russell before tipoff. Once the opponent heard that booming Russell laugh, he probably quit right on the spot.
- Seriously, Shaq has put on some weight.
Let this be a lesson to those of you with video footage of old basketball legends shooting the breeze: get that stuff on YouTube immediately!