The Gainesville Sun
October 25, 2011
By Nathan Crabbe
Shaquille O’Neal gave an interactive show Tuesday at the University of Florida, bringing crowd members to the stage to dance, hug and even get a spanking.
O’Neal veered from answering questions about his 19-year NBA career to what he called an “Apollo Gong Show.” He judged a dance contest between crowd members, traded momma jokes with the audience and tried to live up to a career philosophy that he described as wanting to “give people a great time.
“I just like to have fun and take advantage of opportunities,” he said.
O’Neal spoke before a crowd of about 3,200 at UF’s O’Connell Center in a discussion moderated by Fox Sports reporter and UF alumna Laura McKeeman. O’Neal, a massive center who played for six NBA teams, won four championship rings and played on 15 All-Star teams before retiring this year.
With a NBA lockout leading to canceled games, O’Neal said he hoped players and owners would come together, but that it wasn’t looking good. He said he expected either a late deal or the season to be canceled entirely.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “I’m not playing anymore.”