Shaquille O'Neal may be the funniest 7'1'' Superstar who ever lived.
Certainly he was one of the best basketball players of any size. Such a character as Shaq we may never see again. Now, that he has retired, I may have difficulty finding subjects to write about.
For this week, as a tribute, I'm digging up my favorite Shaq stories. The one below occurred just before Shaq's departure from the Lakers to Miami. It was from a time of tension, a time when divorce was in the air and Phil Jackson was doing everything he could to broker a reconciliation between Shaq and Kobe.
The tension and the dramatics reminded me of Gilbert and Sullivan.
The Operetta Shaqkobe
Scene: In the Jacksonson Courtyard in Lakerland.
The grand Pooh-bah, Master Jacksonson, also known as the Archbishop of Lakerland, Lord High Admiral, First Lord of the Treasury, Official Pacifier, Dater of the Daughter and Zensu of the Zenators is addressing Shaqeson.
“It is said,” begins the Pooh-bah “that you, O Mighty Shaqeson, wish not to fulfill your obligation of marriage to Kobe-Ko. You realize, that I, as First Lord of the Treasury and as Chief Paymaster in Charge can propose a special law which would cover all expenses.
I could use my special powers of accountancy in such a way, that I as Lord high Auditor, could never discover my own malfeasance. However as the Archbishop of Lakerland, it would be my duty to denounce my own dishonesty and give myself into my own custody, as Chief of Police.”
To which the Shaqeson says “Huh?”
“You realize, don’t you, that I’m willing to degrade myself for the sake of your union,” says the Pooh-bah. “You need only to co-operate, fulfill your obligation and go through with nuptials. If only for a few years.”
“But that Kobe-Ko is ugly. Have you seen her without her make-up? She’d make a Sumo wrestler skip dinner.”
“Ah, but Shaqeson,” the wise Pooh-bah counters, “Kobe-Ko is an acquired taste. Her face may be frightening to some. Her ways seem a little selfish but she can produce diamonds of untold value, if you’ll allow….”
“Besides, I have a new desire … Payton-Ki and she feeds me well.”
The spotlight shines in the corner on Payton-Ki:
“I sit in silence as the Shaq dunks deep
I feed him so he can op-e-rate in his sleep
To him I’ll pass, I’ll pass to his big mass
For I want him only happy, him happy I will keep.”
Then the spotlight turns to Kobe-Ko
“He’s always talking about his big toe
I have soreness too, and yet I make a go
I make accommodations, he should keep his obligations
We’re bound to our relations, He shouldn’t tell me no.”
The spotlight flashes on the grand Pooh-bah Jacksonson
“The moon, the sun, the stars
Are lined up well
We’ll hear from them a story
And what a story they’ll tell
We’ll have a marriage of all three
But how we’ll so do … a mystery
But as the Lord High Lawmaker
I know I’ll make it happen, See.
For I have no diffidence or shyness
For I can bend the rules
That’s the perk of my most Highness
And the Zen of me… is cools”
Shaqeson, Kobe-Ko and Payton-Ki meet at stage front
We are destiny
We’ll play nice together
For all the rest to see
We can be…
We can be…
We can be…