Shaquille O’Neal appeared on “Conan” last night, promoting his new show on TNT and his new gig on “Inside the NBA on TNT”. He discussed driving small cars, meeting Al Pacino, and attempting to enter the White House uninvited for the third time. All par for the course as far as late-night show appearances are concerned.
At around the 7-minute mark, Conan began asking Shaq about his new role as analyst, and whether or not as a player he would get upset with things said on shows like “Inside the NBA” or others. Check out his response here:
“I’ve, uh, smashed a few TVs. The only time I get upset is when analyst don’t have the extensive resume… If you only have a thousand points, no rings, no appearances, or just flat out couldn’t play… I don’t… I mean… you know…”
When asked to name names, Shaq hesitated for a moment, saying, “I don’t want to say any names. I don’t want to hurt any feelings.” before finally offering up “Skip Bayless” much to the audience’s delight.
They wrapped things up by having Shaq and Conan attempt to fit into tiny Power Wheels cars. Shaq chose the pink jeep, and fell out of his.
I’m not surprised that he would throw Bayless’ name out there as being one of the analysts who talk the most with the least amount of expertise, but I would like to know how he felt about other actual NBA players-turned-analysts, and which ones he’d felt weren’t qualified to criticize the game’s best players. On TNT he’ll be joining Charles Barkley (a Hall of Fame player without a ring), Kenny Smith (a two-time NBA champion who was never a star), and possibly Chris Webber (multiple all-star with no rings or Finals appearances).
Those are some big names, but there are also guys like Tim Legler, Greg Anthony, and Eric Snow among others who were never stars when they played, but are charged with analyzing games and being critical of players who were and are far more talented than they are. But that’s not what late-night talk shows are for. They’re for promoting projects, telling stories of rubbing elbows with other famous people, and the occasional Masturbating Bear.