SBD/Issue 233/Sports Media

Shaq Responds To Report He Stole TV Show Idea From Nash

O'Neal Claims He Came Up With "Shaq Vs."
As Way To Help Him Train For NBA Season
Cavaliers C Shaquille O'Neal Thursday issued a statement denying a report that he stole the idea for ABC's "Shaq Vs." reality show from Suns G Steve Nash, his former teammate. O'Neal: "Steve is a good guy and was a fantastic teammate. He has made great contributions as an Executive Producer on 'Shaq Vs.' and we are all excited about the show" (THE DAILY). O'Neal added on his Twitter feed when asked if he stole the idea, "never im original" (TWITTER.com, 8/20). In N.Y., Maxine Shen notes O'Neal last month shortly before beginning filming on the show said that he "came up with the idea for the show as a way to help him train for the upcoming NBA season" (N.Y. POST, 8/21). Meanwhile, author Todd Gallagher, who wrote the book "Andy Roddick Beat Me With A Frying Pan," is claiming William Morris Endeavor Entertainment "approached him to turn his book ... into a TV show sometime last year ... then hijacked his idea and turned it into 'Shaq Vs.'" The book is "based on [Gallagher] competing against professional athletes who agreed to play with handicaps -- such as Roddick using a frying pan instead of a tennis racket" (TMZ.com, 8/18).

REAX: L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said of O'Neal possibly stealing Nash's idea, "In Hollywood, it's not about the idea, it's about who can get the idea made. Everybody seems to have the same idea out here, but the bottom line is, can you get it made?" Plaschke: "Bottom line, if Steve was really upset, he'd keep suing." Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw: "If Steve Nash went to the trouble to hire an entertainment lawyer, now he's listed as an executive producer, I tend to think that Shaq probably did take Nash's idea and run with it. That's not the worst thing in the world; the show would sell better with Shaq than it would with Nash. But it sounds like Nash had the idea first" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/20). Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard: "The show is better with Shaq doing it. … (But) I believe he kind of took Steve Nash's idea and Steve Nash is being nice about it now." ESPN's Michael Wilbon: "You cannot steal ideas from your teammates or anybody else. That's a no-no, and Shaq says he didn't do it" ("PTI," ESPN, 8/20). In L.A., Diane Pucin writes if Cavaliers F LeBron James "has any reality television show ideas," maybe he should "keep them to himself" now that O'Neal has joined the team (L.A. TIMES, 8/21).

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