PHILADELPHIA — Shaquille O’Neal is on twitter, but he apparently doesn’t keep an eye out for the #LeaguePassAlert hashtag.
“I don’t watch other teams,” Shaq said before Thursday’s game against the Sixers, which he will miss with a sore right calf. “I get paid big consultant dollars to consult for the Boston Celtics.”
To say that he doesn’t watch other teams is going a little too far, though. And Shaq admits that there are a few players who are worthy of his attention. Two are pretty obvious, but the third may come as a surprise.
“When I’m watching basketball with my son, I only let him watch a couple of players,” he said. “Kobe, LeBron and Blake Griffin. That’s it.
“Kobe is the Black Mamba, of course. Blake Griffin is a big, 6-10 light-skinned cat like my son is going to be. And LeBron is just, you know, strong, physical and can do it all.”
Shaq clearly doesn’t want his son to be influenced by lesser talents. He wants little Shaq’s sights set high.
“As a kid, just dreaming, you always want him to watch the best, and then go outside, practice, and try to be those guys. That’s what I did when I was young. I used to watch Kareem and Wilt and Russell and all those guys, and then go outside.”
Those names are elite company for a rookie like Griffin. The way he relentlessly attacks the rim, Griffin has clearly captured the imagination of fans, but he’s also got 18-year veterans talking.
“He just now has to figure out a way to lift his team,” Shaq said. “Because right now he’s putting up big numbers, but you guys are going to start turning the tables real soon to why he’s putting up numbers and his team ain’t winning.
“Once [the Clippers] learn to play together, it will be more of a story. But he’s fabulous. You guys know I don’t give it up to anybody, but I’m giving it up to that young fella.”