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Shaq and the Monstrosity that is Inside the NBA

Posted By Mohamed Mohamed On Nov 18 2012 @ 10:48 pm In NBA | 2 Comments

The following opinion is mine and mine only, and does not reflect the views that is expressed on Pro Sports Blogging. Actually, it might be. I’m just trying to cover for my ass just in case the “Keyboard Warriors” get on my behind and fuck over my email!

To really understand the genius of Inside the NBA is something that regular people like you and me will never have. The closest thing we have is Bill Simmons’s two day tour of Inside the NBA in 2002 [1]. As a fan of Inside the NBA, What Shaq has done to the studio show isn’t uncommon. Sure, as one of the most gregarious superstars in the history of the NBA, it seemed like a slam dunk that Shaq would fit in and at the very least pull a Magic Johnson circa 2008, where he would just smile and laugh. While he’s performed that point admirably, the rest of the Shaq experience has is really lacking. (Look at me, I feel as if I’m one of those guys at IGN who’s review video games. I love it).

Let me first start off by saying that I love Shaq. I do. He was our generation’s Wilt. Maybe not when it came to the whole Sexual preference, but he was dominant in ways that human being shouldn’t. His run with Kobe in the 01 Playoffs remains the most dominant Playoff run since the 99 Spurs (who by the way won the title that year. I say this because I’m trying to forget that year happened). He was charming, He marketed the game well for the NBA. His beef with Kobe from 2002-2008 was the best thing that happened to the NBA during that time (which says a lot about the talent that was in the league at that point). He was even funny when it came to one liners and jokes during his whole career, especially when it came to his beef with the Sacramento Kings, or as he calls it the “Sacramento Queens”.

And with all that said, he is the worst studio analyst I’ve ever seen, heard, watched, whatever verb you want to put in the equation, he’s that. It goes much further than the monotone voice that he has (which by the way, if there’s one thing I’ll defend Shaq on, it’s his voice and the understanding of his words. I can understand him fine, get your head out of your asses and actually use your ears fuck). It’s that he has no reputable basketball opinion in his repotoire. Let me put it to you this way, he has the same basketball level of intelligence that a guy who rarely watches basketball, and he has no problem diminishing people who aren’t in his level (see Rose, Jalen). That’s fine, if you weren’t being paid to give your opinion, which by the way he is. You know you need help when Chris Webber (the guy that really should be at Shaq’s seat) has to sit with him creating a five man panel. It’s better, but come on, it’s a bit too crowded even for my taste.

Where I’m coming from as a fan is something that has to be mentioned. I love Inside the NBA. I absolutely adore Kenny, EJ, Chuck, Underdog, and everyone else who works at TNT. They give me something that nobody else has. ESPN can’t match it, because you know ESPN has this unwritten code that diminishes any fun on their network. Their studio show is crap. It just is, and it pains me to say it because Bill Simmons is my favourite writer and my inspiration when it came to writing online. Inside the NBA was a remedy to crap halftime shows. Their banter is fresh, it’s real, it isn’t scripted, and hell, they actually have fun, and in a society that mundane any sort of charisma and personality, TNT spat at that notion.

I currently go to University in Edmonton, and I don’t know anyone there. I’m basically a loner and watching classic Inside the NBA skits always made me laugh and smile. I remember coming from a Chem class and I was just bored out of my head. I searched up some classic skits and truthfully, I didn’t move for the next 2 hours. You know you’re great when you have 2 hours work of gold just sitting their to watch. To be fair, I’m painting them as strictly this nonsensical comedy skit, the guys knowledge is something that maybe only Bill Simmons can rival. Guys like C-Webb, Chuck, Kenny know their stuff because they were part of legitimate NBA teams that were championship calibre. Chuck and C-Webb were stars and carry a lot of weight in terms of being the main guys on great teams. And EJ is the best studio host on television right now. You don’t believe me, just watch the NFL on Fox broadcast and see how Curt Menafee and see how shit he is.

Just in case you were wondering, I do have a point of all of this, Shaq is awful. He just is. Like I said before, he has no objective opinion whatsoever. The height of it is his hatred of Dwight Howard. I get that he stole Shaq’s superman gimmick. Hell, I’ll even allow him to have the beef towards Dwight. When you’re telling me that you can’t choose who the best big man in the NBA because it depends on “what kick I’m in” I’m sorry, but you’ve failed when it came to bestowing knowledge on my TV set. His choice of Andrew Bynum over Dwight Howard is downright juvenile and not just stupid considering Bynum might not even be ready to play this season. He talks about Dwight Howard being this “European pick and pop player” and mocks him for not being a low post scorer when

  1. Dwight is the best pick and roll big man in the NBA
  2. He can’t make a free throw, why are you saying that he is a pick and pop player when he can’t make a jumper to save his life
  3. he’s the best defensive big man/rebounding big man in the NBA, yet Shaq discredits that all together because as Shaq said “I wasn’t a great rebounder, I don’t want to hear any of that”
  4. His best excuse, apparently because Shaq was in the second Dream Team and was held accountable for whatever he did, Dwight has to be held accountable for not being at the level that Shaq was. Huh!!!

Look, TNT, do a fan a solid and fire Shaq, or hell switch C-Webb and Shaq and let C-Webb join the Inside the NBA crew and Shaq joins EJ and Greg Anthony (a tool)  on the Fan Night telecast. Just do it quick before the show goes to ruins and my University life turn shittier by the day.

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[1] Bill Simmons’s two day tour of Inside the NBA in 2002: http://proxy.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/020513

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