In celebrating his 46th birthday this month, Shaquille O’Neal reigns as the best-known LSU graduate on the planet. He has eclipsed the infamous former Klan wizard David Duke for this distinction.
When Duke was in a runoff for Louisiana governor in 1991, O’Neal was in his final season at TigerTown. O’Neal urged voters to reject the racist and vote for a man who would go to federal prison. It turned out the 19-year-old kid from San Antonio had more sense than 671,009 voters who proudly cast ballots for the Klansman.
People have conveniently forgotten how Duke was enthusiastically hoisted on the shoulders of LSU fraternity members, shouting “Duke, Duke, Duke” in a driving rainstorm as the Tigers lost to No. 1 Florida State 27-16 in Baton Rouge three weeks before the election. Duke was the favorite son among most of the Greek crowd despite running against a legendary LSU graduate, Edwin Edwards.
Duke has been mired in anonymity for much of the last quarter-century while O’Neal soared to superstardom as a giant on the basketball court and in popular culture. O’Neal has collected two more degrees than Mr. Duke and three more degrees than almost 80 percent of the citizens of Louisiana.
If he desires to return to Louisiana and seek office, O’Neal will be as formidable on the campaign trail as he was on the court. He is a man of immense confidence and disarming candor. Some of Shaq’s statements are over the top and politically incorrect, but he often sidesteps critics with an infectious smile and his remarkable physical presence.
Any man who jousts with O’Neal is likely to be intimidated by his massive size and robust personality. Here is a sampling of quotes from the man with a size 22 shoe and initials (SRO) that appropriately mean Standing Room Only.
40 Quotes from Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal
- For all my friends in the media who like quotes, mark this quote down. From this day on I’d like to be known as ‘The Big Aristotle’ because Aristotle once said, ‘Excellence is not a singular act. It’s a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.’
- I’m tired of hearing about money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi and wear Reebok.
- Kids can still call me Shaq, but adults should call me Dr. O’Neal.
- Me shooting 40% at the foul line is God’s way to say nobody’s perfect.
- Of course I believe in God. Only God could have given me what I have.
- Fact is I’m Muslim, I’m Jewish, I’m Buddhist, I’m everybody ‘cause I’m a people person.
- I put a lot into it, and when I am done playing, I plan on going undercover and then being the sheriff or chief of police somewhere, either Miami or Orlando, I don’t know yet.
- If you go 72-11 and don’t win (the championship), it doesn’t mean anything. Actually it does. It means you’ve cheated and played an extra regular-season game.
- There is no answer to the Pythagorean theorem. Well, there is an answer, but by the time you figure it out, I got 40 points, 10 rebounds and then we’re planning for the parade.
- I’m on a mission. And I know the older I get, I may lose a step or two, but it’s all up in the medullar oblongata. I’ve got a lot up there. I’ve got a lot of knowledge … in this medullar oblongata.
- Pluto is not a planet, but I am.
- Nietzsche was so intelligent and advanced. And that’s how I am. I’m the black, basketball-playing Nietzsche.
- Every challenge you put in front of me, I’ve handled it, dismantled it, ate them, dropped them off in the bathroom and flushed them away.
- That game was dedicated to Rick Adelman (Sacramento Coach). I’m at home, in the bathroom, trying to take a dump, flipping through the channels and he’s complaining (on TV) about how I’m stepping over the line. I can’t even do a No. 2 in peace. I’m sitting there grunting at 12:30 at night.
- I’m not worried about facing the Sacramento Queens.
- He (Denver Coach George Karl) looks like a woman coach sometimes. I guess he’s just trying to get into certain people’s heads, but it won’t work with me. Like a woman who coaches and cries all the time. He can’t get in my head. He’s a crybaby.
- He (Eric Dampier) could be dominant if he played in the WNBA.
- Referring to Chris Bosh: “That’s strong words coming from the RuPaul of big men.”
- I never hung out with that dude (Kobe Bryant) because the dude is a weirdo.
- I didn’t say anything (to Kobe Bryant). Got nothing to say. I’m a married man. I don’t need a relationship with another man.
- Kobe always tried to be a hero. But you know, as the saying goes, a hero ain’t nothing but a sandwich.
- Kobe, tell me how my ass tastes.
- Phil (Jackson) took us to the finals three out of the five years and you want to fire him and want to bring in Mike Krzyzewski? Come on, man. That’s like being married to J-Lo, then dropping J-Lo for a girl that’s 5-10, 480 (pounds).
- Tell Yao Ming, Ching chong-yang-wah-ah-son.
- I heard Mr. (Bill) Walton’s comments, and I think Mr. Walton has broken the Big Man Pecking Order Code. Ordinance 225.7, which means his resume isn’t quite good enough to speak on what I’ve done…I look at what Mr. Walton has done. I look at what Mr. Walton has said, and one thing I hate is a hypocrite. So, if I’m faking an injury, his whole injury-playing career is a fake.
- I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me (For NBA MVP). And the one guy (Fred Hickman) who didn’t vote for me, thank you, too.
- I’m like tax. You’re going to pay one way or the other.
- If I were a painter, you’d be calling me Shaqcasso.
- My father made me who I am. He gave me a basketball and told me to play with the ball, sleep with the ball, dream with the ball. Just don’t take it to school. I used it as a pillow and it never gave me a stiff neck.
- I am Superman. And the only thing that can kill Superman is Kryptonite. And Kryptonite doesn’t exist.
- I don’t believe in pressure. Pressure is when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from.
- The day I stopped worrying about stats is the day I started winning.
- The stats mean nothing. I’m still sexy. I’m still great.
- I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent from Newark who always dreamed about doing a movie. Someone said, ‘Hey, here’s 7 million, come in and do this genie movie.’ What am I doing to say, no?
- If you go around the league, anybody with the last name ‘vich’ is a great shooter. Radmanovic, Vujacic … all those itches.
- I weigh 330,000 pounds. I’m the NBA’s best NFL player, and I’ve always been the sexiest 7-footer in the NBA — for 12 years running.
- If you don’t stick to simplicity, you’ll die a horrible death.
- You can’t question why two plus two is four. So don’t question it, don’t try to look it up….So certain things happen. Why does it rain? Why am I so sexy? I don’t know.
- So that’s going to be my legacy: The most dominant player ever.
- LSU stands for Love Shaq University. Can you dig it?