Pat Riley understands Shaquille O’Neal.
Understood he needed to push the big man hard if the Heat were going to win the championship in 2006. Understands him now as Shaq goes around promoting his “Shaq Uncut” biography.
That’s why Riley was not offended by Shaq saying talking about Riley’s “Gestapo conditioning,” as the coach told Ira Winderman at the Sun Sentinel.
“He’s marketing. He’s a marketer. He’s just marketing right now,” Riley told the Sun Sentinel with a dismissive laugh. “That’s all he’s doing….”
“I’m trying to figure out whether or not Hannibal Lecter, the Gestapo or John Gotti, I don’t know which one is worse,” Riley said of the characterizations he’s received from O’Neal over the years. “They’re all equally insulting.”
He smiled, then paused, “but Coach is good enough for me.”
Shaq is about selling books. Well, Shaq is about selling the Shaq persona, right now that is books. Someday (soon I hope) it will be selling Shaq the TNT analyst. There will other Shaqs to sell after that.
Riley gets that. We all should get that.