Thursday, August 20, 2009

shaq's behind the back move

O'Neal takes Suns star Nash's idea for a reality TV show and runs away with it

By Paola Boivin
The Arizona Republic

The most entertaining part of the new reality show, "Shaq Vs."? The credits.

Tuesday's debut, which featured Shaquille O'Neal taking on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in football, was a tad long and a bit contrived. It became decidedly more interesting, though, when the credits rolled and this name popped up as one of the executive producers:

Steve Nash.

There's an interesting back story here, one that explains in part some of the fractured relationships that defined the Suns' struggles last season.

O'Neal stole Nash's idea.

Shortly after O'Neal was traded to the Suns in February 2008, Nash mentioned to his new teammate a reality show he was pursuing. It would feature the Suns point guard taking on professional athletes in their own sport.

The topic didn't come up again until early in the 2008-09 season, when O'Neal boarded the Suns bus and told the team he would be starring in a new reality show in which he would be taking on, you got it, professional athletes in their own sport.

"You mean the idea you stole from me?" one Suns representative said he heard Nash say.

Nash eventually sought out an entertainment lawyer, according to sources, which is why he now has an executive-producer credit and the compensation that comes with it.

When reached Wednesday, Nash would not confirm the story.

"We collaborated on parts of the show," he said. "I support him 100 percent. I thought the first episode was a fantastic episode, and I can't wait for the next one."

That's something you would expect Nash to say. He often has played the role of locker-room peacemaker. He is known as a teammate who diffuses tough situations before they escalate.

In reality, a source close to Nash said, "Steve was pissed. He couldn't believe Shaq's lack of integrity."

The experience set the tone for some shaky chemistry on the court. Off it, Nash found himself in a difficult situation, trying to co-exist with a teammate who had blindsided him.

"He's moved on," the source said. "He really does want the show to succeed."

Calls made to O'Neal's representatives were not returned. ...

1 comment:

  1. to be fair, nash apparentlyl said that Shaq didn't steal the idea. of course, someone responded that shaq would say "his idea was that he would be in the show. it was my idea that i would be the star of the show."