Shaq was an Underachiever

Ever the sensitive giant, Shaquille O'Neal was a little miffed about the announcer Bill Walton's commenting on his weight recently. Walton's words: "Shaq is a virtual house. If Charles Barkley can get on a scale on national TV, why can't he?"

"I'll do that when Bill Walton takes off his toupee," O'Neal said, apparently unaware that Walton doesn't wear one. "Bill, you still can't stop me. You're too old. I've seen your game. You don't want none of this. Look, doesn't matter how much you weigh when you can play."

O'Neal, told that Walton was joking, kept going, unabated.

"Tell Bill I'm corporate now," he said. "I don't play games anymore. Tell him an old legend shouldn't disrespect new legends like that. In fact, that's it. I'm coming up with a rap right now for him:

Certain things are better left unsaid

Big Red against Shaq? Bill gets 'bowed in the head

You know me from basketball, movies and flow,

I'll back Bill Walton down and he'll start cryin' like Mutombo.

"How many rings did Bill Walton get anyway?" O'Neal said.

Told that Walton, who is in the Hall of Fame, won championships with the Portland Trail Blazers and with the 1985-86 Boston Celtics as a sixth man, O'Neal paused. "Bill's got two, too? Oh, I didn't know that."

Walton was right. Shaq played much of his career overweight, and that fact diminished both his short team impact each season as well has his longevity. Phil Jackson was right, too. Shaq never worked on his game. There are players who waste their talent by never achieving the greatness their innate abilities might have allowed had they worked harder. Shaq was a rare player who achieved greatness, but could have achieved much more had he dedicated himself to the sport in a professional manner.

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