Shaquille O’Neal was in a much better mood for his weekly Shaqtin’ A Fool segment than he was when Ernie Johnson asked him about the set lights, and that’s good news for us and bad news for NBA players. And he had every right to be happy, because this week’s nominees were especially (*Italian chef kisses fingers*).
My vote goes to Wesley Johnson for his incredible Dec. 22 lowlight against the Spurs, when he allowed Kyle Anderson to steal not one, but two inbound passes that San Antonio turned into four quick points. (The Clippers won by five, no thanks to Johnson.)
Much more interesting than Shaq’s nominations, though, was the offer that he made to occasional Shaqtin’ contributor and outspoken blooper opponent JaVale McGee. Back in October, as he was focused on reviving his career with the Warriors, McGee complained to the Mercury News that being made fun of on the segment, and especially being named the Shaqtin’ MVP two times, has hurt his reputation in the eyes of fans.
“Fans think it’s real, like that’s real life and they think I’m a dumb person,” McGee said. “It’s just really disappointing that grown men, 50, 40 year olds are having America’s funniest home videos of a player. And then making it a hashtag and really just trying to ruin someone’s career over basketball mistakes.”
This obviously didn’t sit well with the Big Respect-Expector. On this week’s SAF segment, Shaq awarded P.J. Tucker a lifetime pass from the segment, because he was man enough to admit that his botched layup was hilariously terrible and humiliating. The main reason Tucker received the honor: Respect. Mainly because he didn’t approach his beef with bloopers like McGee, who has clearly been living in Shaq’s dog house.
There is hope for a squash, though. Still in the Christmas spirit, the Big Olive Branch declared that if McGee can go three games without making a mistake, he will leave him out of Shaqtin’ A Fool for the next five episodes. Seems fair. After all, this is why guys play at a championship level. To avoid blooper reels.