Shaq: The Big Tamperer
[Also on The Painted Area today: Suns-Spurs Game 4 Analysis]
The TNT Overtime section of the NBA.com video product is really a beautiful thing, what with complete episodes of Inside The NBA, halftime segments, and special extras from the good folks at TNT.
Monday night at the TNT Arena was noteworthy, of course, because of the large presence of Mr. Shaquille O'Neal. While the Big Arisotle/Baryshnikov/Deporter brought entertainment value to the broadcast, I thought that the most notable thing Shaq said all night was actually buried in an online-only "TNT Courtside" segment, in which Ernie, Kenny and Chuck asked him questions for about five minutes.
About a third of the way into that clip, Kenny talked about how Shaq's played with three great sidekicks in Penny, Kobe, and D-Wade, and asked Shaq who he would pick out of all other NBA players if he could choose another sidekick.
Shaq answered by saying, "Vince". As in Vince Carter. As in under contract with the Nets, soon to be able to opt out of said contract if he so desires Vince Carter.
Charles cut to the heart of the matter, as always, pointing out, "You know that's called tampering, don't you?"
Shaq, feigning ignorance of the whole thing, responded: "He asked me a question. I'm just answering the question. I don't know what you talkin' 'bout. [laughter] I don't know what you talkin' 'bout. [more laughter]"
Charles followed up by saying Shaq was offering "a subliminal message." Kenny said, "Not when you have D-Wade. You can't have D-Wade and Vince Carter."
Shaq: "Why not?"
Shaq went on to note that he spends his early vacation playing "Dogman" with his kids (he took a bite out of Ernie's arm to demonstrate) and then grossed everyone out with a story about the one and only time he's changed a diaper, and I'll just leave it at that.