Book Review: ‘Shaq Uncut’ Offers Exlsuive Look At Former Center


Nothing Compares to LA
Still it was on court where Shaq made his bread and butter, as he spread his talents into platinum, decent rap albums and some big Hollywood pictures. Shaq truly was the man, and from his Orlando rookie days to being the biggest Laker since Magic Johnson, it really is interesting and inspiring to read about one of the biggest influences on the modern-day game. Any Laker fan looking to take a trip down memory lane will be drawn right into the greatest moments of the Lakers three-peat. With insight into how it all went down, followed by how things fell down soon after, these are the words from the horse’s mouth that the media have been galloping after for years.


Still, Laker fans needn’t stop reading or put the book in the fridge once Shaq takes his talents away from Chick Hearn and the Lakers and heads to South Beach. What follows is some hot pages about O’Neal’s time with the Heat and his relationship with former coach Pat Riley. Like the great coach, this take is slick but thoughtful, concentrated but at times humorous, and in the end it all seems in good nature. After all, the two men that where known to keep guaranteeing championships at parades probably have more in common than they think. As Shaq takes his talents from South beach to LeBron and Cleveland via Phoenix, we are in for even more terrific tales from the man who dubbed himself the Big Aristotle.


Shaquille O’Neal also gives it up to the legends before him, speaking candidly about the great giants that came before him and paved the way. Although his relationship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton don’t seem to be the best, he gives uppermost praise and respect to the ‘Lord Of The Rings’ forefather, Bill Russell. He also respects Wilt Chamberlain’s privacy with a testifying tribute to the late, great, big basketball god. From Penny, to Wade and LeBron, Shaq also shares his insight about his time with his sidekick guards, with all due respect and consideration. Then, of course, there is the talk on Kobe. It is surprisingly humble and honestly written with love, respect and consideration over the pages. The highs and the lows are reached here and it’s all done without the usual fluff that comes with other peoples biographies.
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This is because Shaq really is the genuine article and over these chapters it’s clear to read the reason this player’s career was so classic. It was more than just the power, problems and perfect game (minus the free-throws), it was about the personality. In the character stakes, even if Shaq was as tall as Muggsy Bogues, he still would have towered above the rest. That contagious smile and enthusiasm keeps the pages of this book turning, and although the man that has done so much details every distinct aspect it’s often downplayed. Even though the character’s ego is big, his humility is notorious too. The kid from Newark that always honors his parents and upbringing is still here.


Even the ‘Big Fella’s’ last season as a Celtic is worthy of praise as you read more into it. From his contributions to his battles and his funny frolics around Harvard, Shaq never stopped being Shaq. The A+ basketball student also shares with us his studies in the entertainment and social-networking industry, and his graduation through the ranks of law enforcement. Often times it seems like O’Neal’s career has been ‘Shaq vs the world,’ but as you finish this book all those who are against him will even start to realize there is no one quite like Shaquille O’Neal on this Earth. He will go down in history as a legendary personality, player and generous, genuine man. Whether you know him as a Laker or a Cavalier, a platinum rapper or a genie from a boom box, a charitable force or a cop, after this real, revealing read, you’ll know the man everyone simply knows as Shaq.

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