By the time Shaquille O’Neal’s tell-all book is released all will have been told. In fact, most has already been told before O’Neal ever put pen to paper. The latest bit to come trickling out of the book of Shaq is that he blames Mitch Kupchak for his exit from Los Angeles.
According to the Big Diva, he and GM Mitch had a gentlemen’s agreement in place for a new contract. Well, we all know how that ultimately ended. Shaq got the big boot out of town and Kobe Bryant was the one who got the big deal.
Shaq goes on to state that he waited for months for Kupchak to give him an honest reason for breaking his word but that day never came. Thus, according to Shaq, he had no choice but to demand a trade. I guess he also felt he had no other option but to scream “pay me” at Jerry Buss in the middle of a preseason game too.
But I digress…
When is enough going to be enough for Shaq? He got a ring in Miami then later rubbed it in Kobe’s face by asking him how his caboose tastes.
Shaq, you had your revenge moment. Get over it. Move on…please!
At this rate we’re going to remember Shaq being better at playing the blame game than the game of hoops. But I guess that is just the natural career arc for big men. For whatever reason most seem to retire with a bitter taste still left in their mouth.
Now I’m not defending Kupchak on this one. It took me some years to warm up to him as the GM. Replacing Jerry West was one thing but to sit back and watch the Lakers erode while doing nothing to surround Bryant with better talent had me wondering how bad things were going to get.
But Kupchak has shown that he did learn a thing or two from West. Wish Shaq would do the same.
West has also recently authored a book that exposes some behind the scenes drama. The difference being that West never assigns blame so much as he just shares his view. Also West is as standup as they come. For every salacious detail his book reveals about others there are pages of text devoted to his own faults.
One day Shaq will sit back and realize how much damage his whining has done to his once loveable nature. O’Neal is among the best to ever play the game. Problem is the younger generations will only remember the bitter old man jumping from team to team trying desperately to get one more than Kobe. That might not bother Shaq now as there are enough of us around to remind the youngsters of his prime but the future is in their hands. How they remember Shaq is how he’ll be defined going forward.
Now that is some real food for thought, Shaq.