Shaquille O’Neal is already known by many names. Superman. The Diesel. The Big Aristotle. But he would like to add another to the list: Movie Star.
In ”Uncle Drew Adam Boqvist Blackhawks Jersey
,” which opens Friday, he plays one of the former basketball stars (all of them real pros under heavy old-man makeup) reunited by Kyrie Irving’s titular character (first created for a TV ad) to compete in a street-ball tournament at Harlem’s Rucker Park. Shaq’s character, known as Big Fella, is found running a martial arts dojo.
But post-NBA life has been far more successful for the four-time NBA champion. He’s an analyst on TNT’s ”Inside the NBA,” a popular pitchman and an active entrepreneur and investor. He has dabbled in everything from professional wrestling to law enforcement. He’s even a voice setting on the Waze navigation app. This summer he will tour under the name DJ Diesel.
”Uncle Drew” is just one of the projects that the 46-year-old O’Neal has going. Among his favorites is a TBS show he’s developing with Ken Jeong. Comparing their chemistry to Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, O’Neal says it will be ”`Seinfeld”-epic-ish.”
In an interview, O’Neal spoke about his big plans in Hollywood, why the NBA has gotten soft and where he hopes LeBron James lands this off-season.
AP: What do you miss about playing in the NBA?
O’Neal: I miss all of it. I miss interacting with the fans. I miss having the unexpected adrenaline rush, the doubts, the fear, overcoming the fear. I miss everything.
AP: Do you play anymore?
O’Neal: No, not at all.
AP: How come?
O’Neal: I ain’t got it. Right now, I’m relinquishing all my powers to my son who’s going to UCLA .
AP: That’s a shame. I’d love to see you and Charles Barkley play one-on-one.
O’Neal: Yeah, Charles would lose.
AP: Your post-NBA career has been uncommonly busy. Why?
O’Neal: Seventy percent of all professional athletes have nothing http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dallas-goedert-jersey
, not even a job, after they’re done. The fact that I couldn’t even call a franchise to get an interview to be a coach frightened me. So nothing was simple. Educate yourself, be nice to people and save your money. If you do that, you should be OK.
AP: You have numerous TV shows and films in development. What are your Hollywood aspirations?
O’Neal: I want to be as big as Rock.
AP: Dwayne Johnson is the biggest movie star on the planet. That’s setting a high bar.
O’Neal: We come from the same place: athletes that transition. That’s my goal. I want similar type movies. I want to get thrillers. I want to get dramas. I want to do comedies. I want to be the next Rock. I want to do a thriller where I’m like a hero and beat up all the bad guys.
AP: It’s been 24 years since your big-screen debut, ”Blue Chips.” Do you feel like a veteran actor?
O’Neal: Well, I have shot 15 movies. I always tell my friends I shot 15 movies but they say, ”Yeah, but if you play Shaq in nine of the movies, that’s not really acting.” I say, ”You make a good point.” I’m just happy to have the opportunity.
AP: Favorite movie?
O’Neal: Oh, ”Stepbrothers.” All day, every day. I know that movie by heart.
AP: What else do you like?
O’Neal: I just got done watching ”Justice League.” I thought it was pretty good. But they held Superman out too long.
AP: In vogue in today’s NBA are big men who can shoot from the perimeter . Could you have developed a three-point game?
O’Neal: No, I would have played the same way. Because you can’t score 40 points a night shooting jumpers. Nobody has, nobody will. But you can score 40 points a night shooting 60 Cheap Ryan Jensen Jersey
, 70 percent inside the paint. The fact that guys are shooting jumpers, that’s just telling me they don’t like physical contact. Shooting jumpers is easy. Anybody can shoot a jumper. But can you bang a guy four of five times and then still have enough to score two points for your team?
AP: You think the league has gotten soft.
O’Neal: Of course.
AP: The Lakers are rumored to be a likely landing spot for LeBron James. Do you want that to happen?
O’Neal: I just want the Lakers to be like they were back in the day. I want somebody that can beat Golden State. Golden State has turned into madness. The thing that would make me very excited is if LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard came to the Lakers. Then you’d have problems in the West. Then basketball would be fun again.
AP: Have you ever talked to Kyrie Irving about his flat Earth beliefs ?
O’Neal: No, because I said it too. But I was playing.
AP: You were in make-up for four hours a day for ”Uncle Drew.” How did you pass the time?
O’Neal: Sleep. When I woke up, it still wasn’t done.
Nick Foligno sent the text message on Sunday to his family members , promising an enjoyable evening of experiencing and watching the NHL playoffs.
”This is going to be a big night for the Folignos,” he tapped out on his smartphone.
Make it a big week, actually.
For the first time in the seven years they’ve been in the league together, both Foligno brothers are skating in the postseason. Marcus Foligno is getting his first taste, with the Minnesota Wild. Nick Foligno has returned for a third appearance with the Columbus Blue Jackets and his sixth overall.
Their even-more-famous father, Mike Foligno, is having a blast as the unpaid consultant, proud pop and unabashed fan.
”He’s got no voice. He was yelling at the TV last night,” Marcus said Monday, the day after he scored for the Wild in their win over Winnipeg in Game 3. ”With him playing Minkah Fitzpatrick Color Rush Jersey
, I think he still gets that energy, gets that adrenaline pumping, when he sees us play.”
Mike scored 247 times over 15 seasons in the NHL, making his mark during a full decade with Buffalo when he celebrated goals with a signature two-legged leap straight up in the air from the ice . Marcus started his career there, too, in 2011 before the Sabres traded him to Minnesota last summer . Nick debuted in 2007 with the Ottawa Senators until being dealt to Columbus in 2012.
”We’re trying to do something special here as a family,” Nick said after the Blue Jackets beat Washington in Game 2, ”and it’s been pretty cool.”
They’re dearly missing a critical member of the clan.
Janis Foligno, the mother to Nick and Marcus and their two sisters , died in 2009 of breast cancer. The boys have kept her memory alive through their performance on the ice and their philanthropy off it, with a foundation in her name created to fight the disease and support cancer victims. Nick and his wife also donated $1 million to children’s hospitals in Columbus and Boston, where their now-4-year-old daughter had a congenital heart defect repaired.
So they play on for a greater purpose, with Mike keeping a keen eye on the boys.
”There are always things to do better. He sees it. He watches the game. He scouted for a long time, and he coached for a long time in the league Erik Gonzalez Cleveland Indians Jersey
,” Marcus said. ”He just knows how we’re capable of playing, and that’s the biggest thing. He wants us to be the best players out there and be the best role players for our team.”
Nick has long had the more prominent role, as a first-round draft pick and now the captain of the Blue Jackets whose profile in the community includes pizza commercials and charitable endeavors. His 33 points was his lowest total in five seasons, and he missed time with a lower-body injury, but the 30-year-old’s versatility to play center or either wing spot on any of the first three lines has been ever valuable to coach John Tortorella.
Marcus has been more of a niche player. He had a career-high 13 goals and a career-most 80 games for the Sabres last season, but after arriving in Minnesota in a trade last summer his adjustment at age 26 to a deeper team and a lesser role took several months. It included some healthy scratches.
”We all want to score 30 goals and be impactful,” coach Bruce Boudreau said, ”but he’s got a four-year deal so in time he’ll get into that situation.”
The Wild trail the Jets 3-1 entering Game 5 on Friday, but their trouble has mostly been an unproductive series by some of their skilled forwards playing more minutes. Playing on the fourth line with Daniel Winnik and Joel Eriksson Ek, Marcus has found a groove down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs.
”Whether it’s 10 or 12 minutes, he gets out there, he plays really hard, and he’s been very effective,” Boudreau said.
Which brings us back to that Sunday prediction of a big night for the Foligno boys.
Marcus became a major figure in Game 3 for the Wild with a goal and his collision at the boards with Jets defenseman Tyler Myers that knocked his former Sabres teammate out of the game with a lower-body injury.
Nick and the Blue Jackets Eric Thames Jersey
, who lead their series 2-1 entering Game 4 on Thursday, won in overtime about an hour later. Nick was sorry to have missed the goal by Marcus, but he was elated to hear his proclamation came true.
The brothers communicate almost daily, providing tips for each other along with standard pick-me-ups and sibling ribbing. After Nick took a puck to the face in Game 1, Marcus teased him by reminding him that goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was the one paid to get in the way of the pucks.
”You don’t realize how special it is, but I raced back after dinner to watch your brother play in the playoffs,” Nick said. ”It’s a pretty cool feeling.”
AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno in Washington and AP Sports Writer Mitch Stacy in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.