1. In terms of his basketball stat sheet, he earns a chair among the upper echelon of all time elite players. Let’s see: beast in college, #1 draft pick, multiple Finals and league MVP. Retires with more points than Olajuwon, Iverson, Bird, Doctor J, more rebounds than Motumbo, and more championships than Bill Walton.
2. He was just so generous. Remember the eighteen wheelers full of Christmas toys for kids? I’m saying.
3. Shaq is the cheif cornerstone of the link between hip-hop and basketball. I was probably a freshman in high school when he was jumping around as Shaq-fu on Arsenio. He had a platinum selling, critically-acclaimed rap album. He was one of the first with the big, visible tattoos, driving custom Mercedes and big vans with booming speakers.
4. Is he an endorsement whore or what? Just off the top of my head, there was Radio Shack, Pepsi, Nestle Crunch, Powerade (or was it All Sport?), Reebok, the whole dunkman clothing empire, the action movies with hastily though out plots. He’s not a businessman. He’s a business, man….
5. Definitely 9th grade when he pulled the rim down on the NBA on NBC one Sunday afternoon.
6. Played for six different NBA teams by my count–the Magic, the Lakers, the Heat, the Suns, the Cavs, the Celtics. Any team he’s on, they are a guaranteed playoff contender.
7. He’s a 14 time All-Star. A FOURTEEN TIME ALL STAR!
8. He played this prolific career carrying around 300 pounds of person. That gets tiring–still lasted 19 seasons.
9. Took the most physical beating of any player. He was so big and strong, you could foul him hard and even though it didn’t stop him from scoring, he still just absorbed a hard foul. One can only absorb so many.
10. He’s still around. He was only 39 when he retired–still has plenty of good years left in him. I’m interested to see what he does next.