NBC: Shaquille O’Neal knows marketing.
In trying to promote his new reality show “Shaq vs.” (which premiers tonight) he said that he would like to play out this final year of his contract in Cleveland, then see if returning to the Lakers is an option for next year.
Great marketing comment. Not in the least based in reality, but a great marketing comment. Already one LA television morning program talked about it today, I’m writing about it and you can bet sports talk radio will squeeze that in between Brett Favre talk today. And every time it’s mentioned his new reality show gets another free plug.
But Shaq is not coming back to the Lakers. There are as many reasons as Shaq has had nicknames though his career.
First, remember the preseason game before Shaq was traded to Miami when he ran down the court screaming at Lakers owner Jerry Buss, “Pay me! Pay me!” because he wanted a contract extension. I guarantee you that Buss does, and that he still fumes a little at that. Those comments greased the rails for Shaq’s slide out of town, and Buss does not forgive that easily.