Congrats are in order for SHAQUILLE O’NEAL, the first ever unanimous NBA MVP, the first Rookie MVP since Wes Unseld in 1969, and the youngest MVP of all time. Would that all of our years be this productive. Let’s look back at his 2015-16. It’s hard to believe the journey that Shaq has taken in just one year of NBA play. 28,956 points, an NBA record 353.1 points per game, 13,099 rebounds, 2732 blocks—multiple teams didn’t even score when he was on the court—four titles, stints with six separate teams, several movies of variant quality, a pretty good “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode, a dominant showing in this year’s 1994 FIBA World Basketball Championships, and only one cheating-ass three pointer to his good name. All that, all in only 82 games. A part of me is disappointed that he is following up this legendary season by retiring to his farm, but I intimately understand what achieving perfection can do to a man. You begin to crave a simpler existence, in the soil, learning to love the earth and it’s myriad chaoses.
I will miss him. But every time I look at the moon, I will think about Shaq and his giant Bio-Dome operation he has up there. Thank you, as always, for re-teaching us that being fucking gigantic and deceptively fast-moving is the only way to really succeed on the court, Shaq, and thank you for devoting the rest of your life to terraforming the moon. Thank you.