Who can forget Shaquille O'Neal's time with the Phoenix Suns? He in his one full season, the Big Whatever, made a mark on the court with his resurgent inside play and off the court he kept the team loose and having fun. He didn't bring the ring he promised but he sure did bring a lot of
good interesting times.
Jared Dudley, now occasionally writing for Yahoo! Sports, shares some memories of his time with the Big Story Teller. Here's Jared telling a Shaq story:â†µ
Jared Dudley discusses Shaquille O’Neal, the legend - Yahoo! Sportsâ†µ
He had an aura that made people want to be around him, and I was one of them. From chilling with him on a plane, to rolling with him to clubs or parties he hosted in various cities, I was there. I remember one night after leaving a party, we were rolling in a limo and Shaq wanted something to eat. All of us had been following Steve Nash's(notes) eating regime. That night we drove thru a McDonald's. Sorry, Steve ... Shaq made me order a burger, fries and a Diet Coke!
Of course, what Jared doesn't talk about is the other side of Shaq's tenure in Phoenix.â†µ
He doesn't talk about the clogged lane that famously turned Steve Nash into a "hummingbird trapped inside a sandwich bag". Dudley doesn't talk about Shaq's inability to defend the pick and roll. And he certainly doesn't get into what became a failed season marred by the Terry Porter coaching disaster, Amare Stoudemire's eye injury and ultimately a trip to the NBA Lottery instead of the playoffs.â†µ
Fair enough. Jared's just sharing some good times had by all with Shaq around.â†µ
I will certainly never forget the honor (horror) of him sweating on me after practices as I tried to extend my arm high enough to get a recording device close enough to his mumbling words. Great times indeed.â†µ
And who can forget this classic:â†µ