Shaq said before this season that he's only going to play two more years in the NBA, and I can't tell you how sad that makes me. This guy has unquestionably been the best thing in the league since Jordan retired, primarily because of his off the wall humor, his ridiculously hilarious quotes, and his ability to cause an earthquake when he dunks.
Hell, even when he was mocking my Kings back in the early 2000s by calling them "Queens" I couldn't help but laugh.
At least his time isn't up quite yet, thank goodness, so we're still going to be treated to plenty of great Shaq moments before it's all said and done. Personally, I'm hoping for a Nash and Shaq music video this season. But one of the other cool things Shaq has always done is give himself great nicknames. Here's his most recent one that he came up with while doing preseason training at the University of Arizona: The Black Michael Phelps.
Considering Shaq's length, I'd have to think he'd be a pretty decent swimmer. But that nickname isn't even close to being his best ever.
Thanks to Basketbawful, here's a look at some of the best nicknames Shaq has given himself or been given over the years.
M.D.E. (Most Dominant Ever): Shaq began referring to himself as the M.D.E. after leading the Lakers to three straight NBA titles from 2000 to 2002. Despite missing a slew of games during those years and of course being very fat, Shaq was virtually unstoppable in the playoffs and especially the Finals (where he averaged close to 40 PPG). People use this nickname to mock him now, but back then it was pretty hard to argue against it.
The Big [Whatever]: Shaq loves giving himself new nicknames that begin with "The Big" and end with a grandiose reference, usually to some other famous person or thing. These nicknames have included the "The Big Aristotle" (as a reference to the consistent greatness that won him the 2000 NBA MVP) , "The Big Maravich" (for making nine free throws in a row against the Portland Trailblazers in the playoffs), "The Big Felon" (for making a game-saving steal against the Orlando Magic), "The Big IPO" (because his stock was way, way up), and "The Big Baryshnikov" (comparing his low post moves to the dance work of famous Russian ballet artist Mikhail Baryshnikov).
L.C.L. (Last Center Left): One of Shaq's biggest complaints -- and there are many -- is how the center position has been almost totally redefined. Instead of huge, indomitable pivot-men, today's NBA centers are smaller, faster, and more "versatile" (i.e., they shoot threes instead of posting up strong and taking it to hoop). For this reason, Shaq feels that he is the last true center in the NBA, and perhaps the world (that sound you just heard was Yao Ming's heart breaking).
Wilt Chamberneazy: This nickname was coined by former teammate Kobe Bryant as a sort of homage/comparison to Wilt Chamberlain. Shaq considers it his favorite nickname and even had it printed on his baseball cap.
Doctor Shaq: This nickname was invented in 2005 as a way to dis Andrew Bynum, Shaq's "replacement" on the Lakers. Bynum claimed that he was similar to Shaq, except that he made his freethrows. Never one to take insults lightly, Shaq responded thus: "Tell him Shaq doesn't respond to juvenile delinquents without a college degree. Tell him to get his degree and we can talk. In the meantime, he should call me Dr. Shaq because I'm working on my PhD." Shaq originally stated that he was going to earn his doctorate in "either criminology or art history," but instead opted to accept honorary degrees in Shaq-Fu and Kazaamology.
The Big Deporter: In 2000, after eliminating Arvydas Sabonis and Rik Smits from the playoffs, Shaq dubbed himself "The Big Deporter" (both players were outspoken about returning to their native countries after getting eliminated).
Osama Bin Shaq: Shaq gave himself this nickname "for terrorizing Keith Van Horn under the boards" during the 2002 NBA Finals.
The Big Banana: (Again, this one deserved its own entry) After getting gangbanged with criticism for his "Osama Bin Shaq" nickname, Shaq renamed himself "The Big Banana" because "I peel the life out of the Nets."
Just classic beyond belief. Be sure to check out some of the other nicknames on Basketbawful, including Mark Cuban's Fat Albert diss of Shaq.
We'll miss The Big Deporter so much when he retires.
Shaq: I am the black Michael Phelps [The Sports Culture]
Shaq's top 14 nicknames [Basetbawful]