I guess you can add "The Big Divor-say" to Shaq's seemingly endless list of nicknames. The Miami Heat center has officially slam-dunked his five-year marriage to wife Shaunie, with whom he shares four presumably giant children. To help celebrate his newfound freedom from marital bliss, here's a list of Shaq's best nicknames.
Editor's Note: When discussing the all-time worst nicknames, I stated that Baron Davis holds the world's record for most nicknames with seven. I stick by that claim, since most of Shaq's nicknames were self-invented and thus don't count.
1. Shaq: This nickname has been used so universally for so long that some people actually don't know that "Shaq" is short for his given name of Shaquille, which is Arabic for "Little Warrior."
2. Superman: Shaq is obsessed with the Man of Steel. He has a Superman tattoo on his arm, a Superman logo on several of his cars, a logo etched onto a leather jacket, and he can often be seen wearing Superman t-shirts, necklaces, and other paraphernalia. He even starred in Steel, a crappy movie about a man who was himself a cheap Superman knockoff. The dude flat out wants to be Superman. Sure it's crazy, but are you gonna tell him "no"?
3. Diesel: Also spoken as "Shaq Diesel." This nickname supposedly indicates that he has the power and endurance of a diesel engine. Or maybe it's because of the weird burning smell that follows him everywhere.
4. Daddy: Also spoken as "Shaq Daddy" and "The Big Daddy." Although he's estranged from his biological father, Shaq is extremely close to his step-father Phillip Harrison (whom O'Neal credits for making him the monstrous, hulking man he is today). Shaq himself has fathered five children and likes to act as a sort of big brother/father figure to his younger teammates.
5. M.D.E (Most Dominant Ever): Shaq began referring to himself as the M.D.E. after leading the Lakers to three straight NBA titles from 2000 to 2002. Despite missing a slew of games during those years and of course being very fat, Shaq was virtually unstoppable in the playoffs and especially the Finals (where he averaged close to 40 PPG). People use this nickname to mock him now, but back then it was pretty hard to argue against it.
6. The Big [Whatever]: Shaq loves giving himself new nicknames that begin with "The Big" and end with a grandiose reference, usually to some other famous person or thing. These nicknames have included the "The Big Aristotle" (as a reference to the consistent greatness that won him the 2000 NBA MVP) , "The Big Maravich" (for making nine free throws in a row against the Portland Trailblazers in the playoffs), "The Big Felon" (for making a game-saving steal against the Orlando Magic), "The Big IPO" (because his stock was way, way up), and "The Big Baryshnikov" (comparing his low post moves to the dance work of famous Russian ballet artist Mikhail Baryshnikov).
Basketbawful Fun Fact: Elgin Baylor sarcastically referred to Wilt Chamberlain as "The Big Musty" because the huge center rarely showered or washed his uniform. It is unknown whether that nickname influenced Shaq, or whether Shaq himself takes showers.
7. L.C.L. (Last Center Left): One of Shaq's biggest complaints -- and there are many -- is how the center position has been almost totally redefined. Instead of huge, indomitable pivot-men, today's NBA centers are smaller, faster, and more "versatile" (i.e., they shoot threes instead of posting up strong and taking it to hoop). For this reason, Shaq feels that he is the last true center in the NBA, and perhaps the world (that sound you just heard was Yao Ming's heart breaking).
8. Wilt Chamberneazy: This nickname was coined by former teammate Kobe Bryant as a sort of homage/comparison to Wilt Chamberlain. Shaq considers it his favorite nickname and even had it printed on his baseball cap.
9. Doctor Shaq: This nickname was invented in 2005 as a way to dis Andrew Bynum, Shaq's "replacement" on the Lakers. Bynum claimed that he was similar to Shaq, except that he made his freethrows. Never one to take insults lightly, Shaq responded thus: "Tell him Shaq doesn't respond to juvenile delinquents without a college degree. Tell him to get his degree and we can talk. In the meantime, he should call me Dr. Shaq because I'm working on my PhD." Shaq originally stated that he was going to earn his doctorate in "either criminology or art history," but instead opted to accept honorary degrees in Shaq-Fu and Kazaamology.
10. Shaq Albert: Back in 2003, Mark Cuban tried to give his Dallas Mavericks an edge over the Lakers by playing a specially prepared cartoon on the team's jumbotron during a timeout. The cartoon depicted Shaq's face on the body of cartoon character Fat Albert and was accompanied by a voiceover that criedout, "Hey, hey, hey, I'm Shaq Albert!" Instead of killing Cuban with one clubbing blow, Shaq laughed until he was doubled over. Which obviously was hard for someone as fat as he was.
11. The Big Deporter: (This should be included in number 6, but it deserved its own entry.) In 2000, after eliminating Arvydas Sabonis and Rik Smits from the playoffs, Shaq dubbed himself "The Big Deporter" (both players were outspoken about returning to their native countries after getting eliminated).
12: Osama Bin Shaq: Shaq gave himself this nickname "for terrorizing Keith Van Horn under the boards" during the 2002 NBA Finals.
13. The Big Banana: (Again, this one deserved its own entry) After getting gangbanged with criticism for his "Osama Bin Shaq" nickname, Shaq renamed himself "The Big Banana" because "I peel the life out of the Nets."