STUDIO: Warner Home Video
MSRP: $24.98
RUNNING TIME: 105 Minutes
• Shaq’s Graduation
• Shaq’s Top 5 Dunks
• Shaq’s Top 5 Blocks
• Nestle Crunch Hot Shots Camp
• Preview: Shaq TV

The Pitch

“How can we get focus back on Shaq since he hasn’t won a championship in four years nor an MVP in six? Self-promoting DVD? Great idea!”

The Humans

Shaq, Shaq, more Shaq. And strangely, no Kobe…

Horry: "Okay, I think the best play here would be for Fish to set a pick, Rice, you freeze out the guard, then I’ll dish it off to Shaq in the post and Shaq, you toss it over to Kobe for the game winning three."
Shaq: "Toss it to who?"

The Nutshell

Shaquille O’Neal was drafted first in the 1992 NBA Draft out of LSU, was ’93 Rookie of the Year, got swept by Olajuwon and the Rockets in the ’95 NBA Finals, got traded to LA, won three championships and three Finals MVPs in a row under the Zen Master, was the 2000 NBA MVP, named one of the 50 greatest NBA players in history in just his fifth year in the league, spawned the term “Hack-a-Shaq” and “Can You Dig It?”, had questionable rap and movie careers, is a 13-time All Star, was traded to Miami in 2004 and has yet to make it back to the finals, and has a strange fascination with being a law enforcement officer, and all without Kobe Bryant apparently ever existing.

"Okay, if I stand here next to the Chief, maybe they’ll show me on Sportscenter…"

The Lowdown

Let me first say that I’ve got a lot of love for Shaq and his ability as a ball player. I live in LA and his presence is still missed, especially when you’re up 3 to 1 against the Suns…. I’ve watched his career since LSU and marveled at how he can take the best players in the paint and just school them. The free throw issue and the whole tired Superman thing aside, overall, we’re looking at probably the most physically dominant man ever to play the game of roundball, with only Wilt probably better. The thing that gets me though is, why is this disc coming out now? Shaq, despite all of his talent and accomplishments, isn’t exactly in the forefront of the NBA scene right now, and it’s probably safe to say that his halcyon days are behind him. Right now the focus is on the Kobes, the LeBrons, the Carmelos, the Wades, and the Yaos of the NBA. Is this just a reminder that Shaq is still with us and of how good things used to be? I don’t know.

"You see this cat Shaq is a bad mother-"
"(Shut your mouth)"
"But I’m talkin’ ’bout Shaq."
"(Then we can dig it.)"

At the time of my writing this, the Heat are tied 1-1 with the Nets in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs and the Pistons are looming to more than likely stomp whichever one of them advances. I’ve caught a fair amount of NBA news this year and Shaq just hasn’t been getting that much press from what I’ve seen. Anytime I see a Heat clip, it’s when Flash is zipping past some poor defender and tossing down a thunderous dunk or shooting a ridiculous three from the parking lot. Nevertheless, this disc does a good job of covering Shaq’s career from his Tiger days right up through to the present. But my thinking after seeing this disc, and one of the features in particular: Shaq TV, a Shaq-based reality TV show, that this is simply a promo for that DVD. How good that show is I don’t know, beyond the promo episode I saw, which was about as good as any other star-based reality TV series. But considering that that show has never even made it to TV, when pretty much any D-list has-been can show up on their own series, it can’t bode well.

The size of the Clippers’ new center didn’t exactly bode well in their game against Miami…

Nevertheless, the disc itself is a fairly decent retelling of Shaq’s storied history, from LSU to the Magic to the Lakers and finally the Heat. It’s got plenty of face time for the big man and people like Phil Jackson, Dwyane Wade and Derek Fisher throwing in their two cents. It’s decent, except for the fact that Kobe is completely left out of the picture during Shaq’s Laker days. This being such a one-sided telling of that chapter of his career makes this such a hollow presentation, that you’re better off just catching a retrospective on ESPN.

The Package

There’s plenty of good footage of Shaq’s career and the audio’s fine. The cover art is about as exciting as watching Shaq at the stripe, though. There’re five special features: Shaq’s Graduation, a three minute piece on Shaq going back to finish up his degree at LSU. There’s also the self-explaining Shaq’s Top 5 Dunks and Shaq’s Top 5 Blocks, as well as Nestle Crunch Hot Shots Camp, a 14-minute piece on Shaq’s involvement with a basketball camp for charity, and finally, Preview: Shaq TV, which my money is on as being the whole point of this DVD.

.528 out of 1
(coincidentally, the same as Shaq’s career free throw percentage)