Saw a video of Shaq fighting Oscar De La Hoya over at ’64 and Counting. Tonight you can catch a double dose of the show on ABC starting at 8 with a replay of Shaq vs Ben Roethlisberger, and then a new episode at 9 with Shaq taking on Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh in beach volleyball. Perhaps you may even catch a glimpse of the executive producer of the show. No, probably not.
I admittedly didn’t get to watch the first episode, (Scott did) so I don’t know how intense these ‘competitions’ are. The clip of the fight with De La Hoya certainly didn’t throw up any red flags, as the two were about as civil with each other as sparring partners usually are. But I still have to wonder if these little tests of Shaq’s athletic prowess are really what you want to see from your 37 year old center.
I also realize that I’m more old school than most of the people that read this site. I would much rather read about Shaq in the gym with LeBron and Mo Williams getting ready for the upcoming season than see Shaq swimming laps against Michael Phelps or LeBron taking off on a world-wide tour right before camp begins. I have no idea what life is like for a multi-millionaire world class athlete, but I can speak to what life is like for a 37 year old. Your body doesn’t recover quite like it did at 30. In his coming to Cleveland press conference, Shaq tried to sell us on the idea that he missed around 3 seasons worth of games and so those are still in the tank. Um, no. Thanks Shaq. As Jack Nicholson said “Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.” Age doesn’t care whether you played 82 games last season or 22. Another year on those knees is still another year.
So no matter how entertaining it is to watch Shaq going up against the world’s best athletes, I for one would much rather he be preparing himself for the season. Physically and mentally. Hopfully he’s doing that.