*Retired NBA great turned TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal helped lead the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive NBA titles from 2000-02, and the big man made sure he evoked a bit of humor along the way.
At a promotional event Monday, Phil Jackson, O’Neal’s former Los Angeles Lakers coach, told ESPN’s Hannah Storm about some of his antics, including the time Shaq turned up at practice naked.
According to Kevin McGuire of The Comeback, Jackson said:
Well, you know, numbers of times, he could crack a team up with humorous effects on the floor. There were times when he shocked us all in a practice situation, especially when he showed up nude with just his shoes on.
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O’Neal claims that he does not remember the incident, but do you really think he could forget such an unusual prank?
The coach said “every few days or every week or so” the big man would come barreling around a locker room corner completely nude and tackle a teammate or coaching staff member to the ground where he would roll around with them in what he called “Brazilian naked wrestling.”
Ya know… because that’s what straight men enjoy doing with other straight men — roll around on the floor locked together in a butt-naked twist.
Meanwhile, the first photo of the cast in BET’s upcoming New Edition Biopic miniseries has been released. Earlier this year it was revealed that Empire star Bryshere Gray will play Michael Bivins, Luke James will play Johnny Gill, Keith Powers will play Ronnie DeVoe, Elijah Kelly will play Ricky Bell and Woody McClain will play Bobby Brown.
Luke James shared a few photos of the cast in character as the iconic R&B group, check it out below. Elijah Kelly also posted the group photo, along the caption: “Coming Soon…. Hope y’all are ready!! #NE #NewEditionBET#BehindTheScenes #BeGreat.”
READ RELATED STORY: Johnny Gill Says New Album to Accompany New Edition Biopic
Essence reports that La La Anthony, “The Best Man’s” Monica Calhoun, Yvette Nicole Brown, Lisa Nicole Carson and Sandy McCree will play the mothers of the boys. Anthony will play Ronnie DeVoe’s mother Flo; Calhoun will play Ralph Tresvant’s mother Patricia; Brown will play Michael Bivins’ mother Shirley; Carson will play Ricky Bell’s mother Mae; and McCree will play Bobby Brown’s mother Carole. Photos of the female co-stars have yet to be released.
The BET film, tentatively titled “The New Edition Story,” will chronicle the group’s early years as friends and rise to becoming of R&B’s most beloved groups.
A photo posted by L U K E J A M E S (@wolfjames) on