SBD/Issue 232/Sports Media

Man Of Steal? Shaq May Have Taken Idea For Show From Nash

Did Shaq Steal Nash's Idea For Reality Show?
Suns G Steve Nash originally mentioned to then-teammate C Shaquille O'Neal around February '08 that he was pursuing a reality show in which Nash would be "taking on professional athletes in their own sport," which is the basis for O'Neal's current ABC show "Shaq Vs.," according to Paola Boivin of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. The topic "didn't come up again until early" last season, when O'Neal "told the team he would be starring in a new reality show" with the same concept Nash had. A Suns official said he heard Nash reply, "You mean the idea you stole from me." Nash is listed as an Exec Producer of O'Neal's show, and Boivin reports Nash eventually "sought out an entertainment lawyer," which is why he has the on-screen title and the "compensation that comes with it." A source close to Nash said, "Steve was pissed. He couldn't believe Shaq's lack of integrity." However, the source added, "He's moved on. He really does want the show to succeed." Nash did not confirm the story, saying, "We collaborated on parts of the show." But Boivin notes the incident "set the tone for some shaky chemistry on the court" and might partially explain the "fractured relationships that defined the Suns' struggles last season" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 8/20).

THE GENTLE GIANT: ESPN's J.A. Adande said of O’Neal during Tuesday’s debut episode of “Shaq Vs.,” "He's fun to watch. I like the big entertainer. You have to appreciate the fact that he didn't stack the show so he's going to beat everybody.”'s Jay Mariotti asked, "How does Shaq lose at his own show? Ben (Roethlisberger) beat him, right? I guess that's part of the challenge of it” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 8/19). Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard said, "I'm impressed by his charisma, impressed by his ability to draw. … He's the most charismatic guy in sports." ESPN’s Michael Wilbon added, “He's the most charismatic guy in the sport where charisma matters most: in basketball" ("PTI," ESPN, 8/19).

REALLY FOLLOWING IN SHAQ'S FOOTSTEPS? ESPN’s “PTI” discussed a recent article by Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi which wondered whether Magic C Dwight Howard might become "too preoccupied with non-basketball fame" in a similar vein to what happened with O'Neal when he left the Magic in ’96. The Herald’s Le Batard noted Howard is "already working on a movie and is interested in entertainment projects." ESPN's Wilbon said, “You don't have to be in a big market … to get rich and to have people notice you and to have endorsers come to you or to have movie deals come to you." But Le Batard added, "It helps. You can't say it doesn't help to be in Los Angeles" ("PTI," ESPN, 8/19).

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