Here's a likely answer to the question:
There was this chap they called "The Diesel."
Sometime during the summer of 2001, on a mutual whim, in the backyard of someone's house in Louisiana State University, he began to wrestle with a fifteen year old kid called "Big Baby." The kid today stands at 6'9" weighing about 260 lbs, but he was obviously a lot lighter back then. And a lot shorter too!
That diesel guy? He stood over seven feet tall and weighed 350 lbs but it obviously didn't matter because the baby, overcome by a complete lack of intimidation, lifted his idol up and body-slammed him to the floor.
And the question? What was the question?
You frame it.
I'm thinking "When was the last time Shaquille O'Neal ate humble pie?"
Because he just tasted it again.
Remember that saying about not daring to feud with someone who buys ink by the barrel? I'm not sure what exactly it was but metaphorically, it probably implies that Shaq should have swallowed his pride when ESPN presenter Jim Rome stated that Shaq Fu's career wasn't as great as it could have been and "he never approached the game with the dedication or discipline as Kobe Bryant.
The outspoken commentator and host of Jim Rome is Burning was making his remarks after news that The Big Aristotle (Yes! That's how "Wilt Chamberneezy" would always like to be called ), signed with the Boston Celtics for the veteran's minimum salary.
Now call Jim Rome cocky but he obviously can't be stupid. The man must have been expecting some backlash! After all, he didn't just criticize a beanie baby or a stuffed teddy bear. He criticized a man who:
a) did that !
b) did that again !
c) did "that again" again !
So you see, maybe Jim didn't remember those faded grainy memories. Maybe he just remembered the MDE (Most Dominant Ever) for his juvenile sense of humor. After all, "The Big Baryshnikov" once said his game was like Pythagoras's Theorem in that no one could figure it out!
Maybe Rome called up Vlade Divac who reassured him that when "The Big Galactus" sang for him, it was all in playful jest.
Either way, he forgot that "The Big Cordially" was on twitter (making his new nickname shwitter/shitter/shaquitter?) and promptly retaliated through his three million followers.
"Jim rome, I am happy with my career and the legacy that I have left behind, obviously u r not happy with yur legacy I 4got u have no legacy"
Thus spake "The Big Agave."
"And forget the back and forth jim rome, I challenge u to a boxing match, live at espn studios, show the world if you can bak up the tuff talk"
Thus spake "The Big Felon" some more.
"Dats what I thought jim rome dats what i thought......I knew, we knew it bock bock bock bock tuk your feathers n lol"
Thus concluded "The Big Shaqovic."
Of course, in the middle of these left-hook tweets was Jim Rome twitter-taunting O'Neal some more, claiming that he would do it for $8 million and not the veteran's minimum (which is what O'Neal will be paid) of $1.5 million.
Common basketball knowledge accepts that while Shaquille O'Neal is certainly not the most dominant player ever (that's a default Wilt-owned title), there were periods in his career when his dominance was unparalleled and perhaps the greatest of his generation.
At 38, with injuries slowing him down, "The Big Cactus" lacks the quickness of the drop-step that made him unstoppable in his prime; but at seven feet and three hundred pounds plus, he continues to remain an imposing physical presence .
And it's clear that he wants another ring before he retires thus making the Celtics his most viable option.
Either way, a wounded lion still remembers the prey it used to hunt down and kill with brute power and finesse. No matter how old and crippled it gets, it knows what it used to do . And Shaq did it all, the three-peat of rings with his three-peat of Finals MVP awards.
He doesn't need a 40 or 50 year old talk show host to question his dedication to the game!
Where was this Rome fellow when the Lakers three-peated on "The Big Shaqtus's" atlas-like shoulders or when he helped Dwayne Wade get Miami its first championship?
Was Rome burning then?