SHAQ Uncut, my story

 

SHAQ Uncut, my story  by Shaquille O’neal and Jackie MacMullan

The book release Shaquille O’neal « Uncut, My Story » aroused great interest in the United States in 2012, particularly because American press was waiting for a polemical book. Having some headlines even before its official release, this book is far from being a story of quips to settle Shaq’s accounts with people, and so much better. Explanations…

Shaq Uncut, my story
Shaq Uncut, my story

Shaquille O’neal is his own character whent it comes to basketball,  especially the NBA. Through this book, he approaches different topics, telling us about his life, his career but more importantly, sharing with us his own personal story as well as his well known opinion of the various players, coaches and executives he met during his career.

Without beating around the bush and bringing the worst out of people, he takes us into his particular world that made him the colorful and funny character, never annoying, always childish and endearing. One of the values that emerges from this book is the unlimited generosity towards his family and beloved ones. He also shows this kindness to strangers met by chance, the homeless, the disabled without necessarily feeling the need to spread the word to the press. He especially shows generosity towards children, himself having remained a « big kid”.

Shaq comes back on all the chapters of his life: from his very strict childhood education to his high school to his years of dominance at Louisiana State University, all the way to the NBA glory. He will finally discover his potential in his late teens. Funny story, he had never dunked in high school not because of a lack of size, but by fear of failing…

Shaq went through his emotions to choose his college as well as the team he played for in his NBA career. He is the kind of person that needs to feel appreciated, desired before commiting to a team. In that process, he reveals to us a few things about what scouts from LSU used to do to enroll him in their team. Additionally, we learn more about the relationship he maintained with different teams (mainly Orlando, LA and Miami) as these relationships look a bit like stories of couples. Like the stages of a marriage, he first had his honeymoon with his millions dollars contract, and then he went on achieving many feat, accomplishing about anything an athlete wish , such as winning championships, being a MVP,  followed by in between painful divorces with several NBA Franchises.

Lakers v TimberwolvesAs we all know, these relationships ended badly, usually due to misunderstandings between Shaq and Executives that lead to mixed feelings, disloyalty combined with various injuries and the need to collect a big paycheck were just too much to overcome. In his book,  Shaq obviously also goes back to the tense and confrontational relationship he has maintained all these years with Kobe Bryant. The duo helped the Lakers make a Three Peat between 2000 and 2002, but the tension between these two was so strong that it caused Shaq’s trade to Miami.

Shaq also let us know about his businessman side, being one of the 1st investors in « Google”, while having missed a great opportunity to partner up with Starbucks a few years ago.

Did you know that Shaquille was a volunteer member of the LAPD and MPD? He followed their training in addition to his daily athlete life.. Although Shaq has not had a similar work ethic to the likes of  Jordan or Kobe, he did make the most of his basketball playing years and enjoy every bit of advantages that being an NBA star has brought him. One can not help but wonder what his career would have been with a healthy lifestyle.

Would he have been happier having won more titles? Or was he happy enjoying his family, friends and encounters in his life?

In any case, he has done things his own way, and that is the most important thing.

Can we blame him for that?

Rating: 4/5. Of course this book is recommended for Shaq fans, but not only them. This book provides a different perspective on the life of one of the biggest NBA stars, a very passionate player, but also a lover of life and others.

Would he have been happier having won more titles? Or was he happy enjoying his family, friends and encounters in his life?

In any case, he has done things his own way, and that is the most important thing.

Can we blame him for that?

Rating: 4/5. Of course this book is recommended for Shaq fans, but not only them. This book provides a different perspective on the life of one of the biggest NBA stars, a very passionate player, but also a lover of life and others. 

 Jérôme Michel

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