SHAQ UNCUT by Shaquille O'Neal


My Story
Email this review


Ubiquitous NBA superstar O’Neal offers an entertaining, if undeniably self-serving chronicle of his unique career.

The self-styled “Big Aristotle” is unquestionably one of the most dominant players ever to grace the hardwood; he’s also one of the game’s biggest characters. With an assist from veteran basketball writer MacMullan (co-author with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson: When the Game Was Ours, 2010), O’Neal  details an impoverished childhood lacking in material things but filled with strong influences, ranging from his grandmother to his stepfather, “Sarge,” a strict disciplinarian who helped curb the young O’Neal’s occasionally wayward tendencies. After a storied college career at LSU, O’Neal moved on to a dominant run in the NBA, from his early career in Orlando to his title-laden days as a Los Angeles Laker to his role as sidekick to young superstar Dwayne Wade in Miami. Despite his gregarious nature and an ever-adoring public (as evidenced by his inexplicable success as a rapper), acrimonious departures from NBA cities became something of a recurring theme throughout O’Neal’s career, circumstances he goes to great lengths to portray in a manner that casts him in the best possible light (PR-savvy veteran that he is, however, he places just enough blame on himself to bolster the veracity of his claims). Shameless self-promotion aside, the “Diesel” has a talent for entertaining, whether he’s suggesting that a jibe from President Obama ruined Celtics’ point guard Rajon Rondo’s jump shot or ruminating on the complicated nature of his relationship with Kobe Bryant. Question his free-throw shooting ability or willingness to absorb his share of responsibility when things go wrong, but it’s hard to question his charisma.

Symbolic of Shaq’s career: consistently captivating, but you can’t help but feel he left something on the table.

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4555-0441-1
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2011


NonfictionBASKETBALL by Jackie MacMullan
by Jackie MacMullan
NonfictionWHEN THE GAME WAS OURS by Larry Bird
by Larry Bird


NonfictionDON'T PUT ME IN, COACH by Mark Titus
by Mark Titus
NonfictionTHE BOOK OF BASKETBALL by Bill Simmons
by Bill Simmons
NonfictionWILT, 1962 by Gary M. Pomerantz
by Gary M. Pomerantz