Great news, Suns fans: The EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE reports that Shaquille O’Neal has been “fairly diligent” in his off-season training. Which might read like the equivalent of being “mostly dead,” but for Shaq it’s a huge improvement. Yes, he’s still fat, but he’s not nearly as fat as he might be this time of year.
You see, while most large mammals (such as bears) store up fat over the winter, Shaq apparently does the opposite and fattens up during the off-season. Meaning that the Suns are very happy that he’s only 8-10 pounds over the Suns’ target weight for him. Somehow I’m guessing the Suns’ “target weight” is less what they’d ideally like to see him get down to and more “let’s try to weigh less than Oliver Miller, tubby.”
I’m not sure that being “fairly diligent” about training means to Shaq, although I don’t know how many calories one can burn breathing heavily into the phone on a regular basis. Although it’s interesting that his renewed, marginal interest in getting in shape is coinciding with reconciling with his wife. Apparently having someone cook for you instead of running out to 7/11 for a Big Bite and nachos makes a difference.
The Suns are so excited, that they anticipate that Shaq is only going to miss 20 games or so this upcoming season. Don’t laugh: he’s only missed that many games or less in six of his 16 NBA seasons. So Shaq is clearly going to be working three-quarters of the time for his fat salary (pun totally intended). And with his retirement looming in two years time, Shaq can look forward to a time when he can stop sort of caring about his weight and just let himself go.
I’d say it’s even odds that Shaq becomes one of those guys who has to be forklifted out of his house post-retirement.