Shaquille O’Neal turned 45 in March, and he’s starting to sound bored. As a studio analyst on TNT, he is mumbly and stubborn, and sometimes, you can tell, not exactly fulfilled by the role. Shaqdaddy can’t be cooped up in a studio, wrapped like a Christmas present in a three-piece suit, trying to think of something new to say about the Toronto Raptors. That’s not his game. Shaq needs to be towering over a crowd somewhere. He needs to be holding court in a room full of cameras. Shaq is a rare bird: An a-hole with a knack for likability.
He wants to run for sheriff, he just hasn’t decided where.
“This is not about politics for me. It’s something that I always wanted to do. It’s just about bringing people closer together,” Shaq said Friday. “You know, when I was coming up, people love and respected the police, the deputies. And I want to be the one to bring that back, especially in the community that I serve.”
This is a good idea. Shaquille O’Neal would make an excellent sheriff as far as I can tell. He has a good bit of police training, and the temperament of a golden retriever that was raised by a border collie. Shaq has a healthy respect for authority, as well as an appreciation for written and unwritten moral and ethical codes. Being a sheriff is a lot more complicated than that, obviously, but in broad terms he seems suited for the job and would stand a decent chance at improving police-community relations in whatever municipality elected him.
Shaq should definitely go for it, but before he does, these are some jobs he should try out first:
Gregarious-But-Stern 90s TV Dad
Like if Carl Winslow was full of “yo mama” jokes. In Shaq, Shaq plays Shaq, a single dad raising triplets (Shaqlets) in Los Angeles while looking for love in all the wrong places and dealing with his neurotic-but-helpful neighbor, “Tobe.”
Grocery Store Sample Guy
He’d charm you into stopping, then bully you into buying.
Shaq would never tire of narrating the scenery, and passengers would feel safer knowing he could back down a rhinoceros in the post if it came to that.
Crazy Guy on the Corner
You’d listen to a doomsday warning from the guy who said, “Me shooting 40 percent from the foul line is just God’s way to say nobody’s perfect.” You would.
Transylvanian Truck Loader
Governor of California
Two actors have already been governor of California, and one of them was just as difficult to understand as Shaq. Besides, he brought the Lakers three titles. Shaq runs on a totally apolitical ticket, promising only that it will be Shaq-mas in California all year round.
Pitchman for Pain-Relieving Balms and Ointments
The Older Man Who Straightens Out Seth Rogen in a Seth Rogen Movie
In Seth Rogen movies, Seth Rogen often is a man who needs straightening out by an older and wiser (but imperfect) older dude. That’s most movies, actually, but anyway O’Neal’s sophomoric-but-practical wisdom would fit especially well into the Rogen universe.
Cranky Old Man
One option for Shaq for a few years down the road is to become a cranky old man who complains all the time in the press. This is a role available to most ex-athletes of prominence, and Shaq has shown an ability from time to time to get territorial about the way things were in his day. There’s only money in that if you’re doing it on TV, though, so in a sense he already has this job.
President of the United States
You’re gonna sit there and tell me this couldn’t happen? Shaq’s gonna bring back manufacturing jobs to Reebok.