One of the best segments that TNT’s Inside the NBA has to offer is “Shaqtin’ A Fool,” which serves as a lowlight reel for the dumbest basketball moments of the week. Even when Shaquille O’Neal isn’t in the studio to present his worst moments, his colleagues are happy to handle the hilarious burden, because when NBA players do something stupid in a game, you just can’t sleep on it. The Warriors bench calling a travel on Andre Iguodala. Kristaps Porzingis flopping against Carmelo Anthony. Crazed woodsman Robin Lopez giving up on offense to play defense against no one. And those are just the most recent Shaqtin’ A Fool nominees.
What’s great about this bit is that the Big Humiliator doesn’t have a soft spot or safe space for the league’s elite superstars, as he mocked Stephen Curry last week, James Harden last month (twice!), and Russell Westbrook last season. No one is safe from Shaq’s mockery, unless a player is smart enough to call himself out and win a Shaqtin’ Golden Ticket. That is the only way to avoid being embarrassed, but that doesn’t mean players haven’t tried other means.
That tweet comes from Shaqtin’ A Fool producer Mike Goldfarb, who is unfortunately (for us) keeping his mouth shut when it comes to the identity of the player. But that’s the fun of it, right? Because now we get to guess which Top 5 super-duper-star player is so thin-skinned that he can’t handle being mocked in a harmless recurring segment.
Obviously, even the “consensus Top 5” will inspire heated debate – personally, I believe we should include Harlem Globetrotters – so we’re going to base the five suspects on the responses to Goldfarb’s tweet. I’m immediately scratching Steph Curry off the list, because there’s no way he’s that petty when he’s out there making dumb sports bets and flashing that trademark grin. As for the other guys…
Could be The King, but we should remember he’s been featured on Shaqtin’ A Fool before, as Kenny Smith gave him hell for benching himself in the middle of a play one time.
One time might have been the only time, I suppose, but when you’re trying to convince the world that you’re the GOAT, you can’t be upset by some dumb jokes. Another key suspect?
Durant’s an interesting one because I’m not sure he’s ever made a Shaqtin’ round-up. However, if he’s the guy urging his agent to make a call, that means Shaq agreed to keep him off, and that doesn’t seem like a Shaq thing to do. Instead, we’d expect the Big Beef and Cheddar to go out of his way to include Durant. How about this guy?
Westbrook is cold-blooded, even ruthless to some. His brand of humor is subtle at best, and mostly of the shady variety. He doesn’t seem like he appreciates people laughing at him, but the reason I’m scratching him off the list is because he doesn’t give a sh*t what anyone thinks about him. That leaves one other star…
Harden is my top pick because he’s very serious and seems to have little to no sense of humor, and making the segment twice in one month could have really pissed him off. Not to mention he’s a repeat offender, and most of all he was the Shaqtin’ A Fool MVP for the 2015-16 season.
When you’re the subject of a “special presentation” because you have too many hilarious moments and the Big Fake-Beard-Wearer routinely mocks your lack of defensive awareness (to put it nicely), you’re probably going to reach a point where enough is enough. We may never know the true identity of this Top 5 player, so we will simply forever assume that his name rhymes with Lames Larden.