Shaquille O’Neal has arguably (and you wouldn’t have to argue that hard) the NBA’s best personality in the league’s history. He’s cartoonishly large with both his appearance and big talk, speaking in parables and with self-deprecation. Even if you know he knows nothing about a subject, he has a way of making you want to listen. He’s a marketer’s dream and makes it easy to see why in retirement he can draw a crowd almost anywhere. What about south of the border? Definitely not, maybe, Shaq said Sunday
But wait a second, because Shaq, ever the wordsmith, knows how to play it both ways. There’s no truth to playing in Mexico because no one has called him about it yet.
[Shaq] “No truth to that. It’s kind of unfortunate that so-called experts have to get their sources from the Internet. It’s backwards. Especially like when people from ESPN know me and they can call me and ask me, but somebody else said it so they want to be the first to report it even though it’s not true. However, we could talk, but nobody has contacted me.”
[Times-Picayune] So you definitely won’t?
[Shaq] “Probably not.”
Shaq isn’t dumb, and you only need to read a little more into the interview to see he’s pretty coy at business, too. It’s kind of made me chuckle to see him say he runs 40 fitness centers and 55 Five Guys in that interview, but then I stopped because those are Shaq-sized numbers. For most people it’s ridiculous; for the larger-than-life O’Neal it seems like a pretty accurate scale. He knows business and basketball and how they meet. Playing in Mexico for a couple appearances? That wouldn’t be a bad way to re-introduce himself to another market. Personally, after a summer of watching LeBron, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant play basketball in China, I want to see Shaq do his own thing out of the country, too, and it’s not just because it would fill the void of the next great American athlete to compete there since Kenny Powers. Don’t bet on it happening, though, at least not until the idea’s presented to him, anyway. Then, they could talk. We, just like anyone else who grew up on or was a hoops fan during Shaq’s prime, will listen.
Should he make some appearances in Mexico?
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