Even though we knew it was coming there were many questions surrounding how it would be executed. The speculation ended today with the unveiling of the Shaqtue.
Shaquille O’Neal implemented a plan he announced a few weeks ago while a guest on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich Show” promoting his All-Star Comedy Jam and played statue in Harvard Square.
During the interview, Shaq said he would be venturing to Harvard Square at a date to be tweeted later and would sit on a bench and act like a statue for an hour. While there fans would be allowed to take pictures and sit next to him, but you would not be able to talk to him because, in Shaq’s words, “I’m a statue.”
With a tweet in the early afternoon, Shaq announced he was on his way to Harvard Square for his street performance, and hundreds followed.
When Shaq arrived he made his way to a bench and as promised, just sat there. Local media tried to interview the Shaqtue but he remained stoic and did not speak. Many fans fought for position to get a picture with the big man who sat, hands crossed, on a bench. Even with fans putting their arms around him, Shaq never moved.
In this day and age it is hard to imagine an athlete, especially one as recognizable as Shaq, doing anything like this. There is a reason Shaq is such a fan favorite and stunts like this show why.
ESPN’s Chris Forsberg spoke with a few of Shaq’s teammates, none of whom showed up on the rainy afternoon to watch, for their thoughts on what Shaq was doing.
“What's he going to do?” asked Celtics captain Paul Pierce. “He’s just going to sit there? Somebody get a picture of that and tweet it.”
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett was asked if he would be attending the spectacle.
“Absolutely not,” said Garnett. “I will not be taking pictures of Shaq with bird [expletive] and all types of other people taking pictures. I'm cool. I see him in here; I'll take my pictures around here.”
I hope this is only the beginning for Shaq and his public demonstrations in Boston. It would also be fantastic if these ideas rubbed of on his teammates and they all join in. Maybe a they join the ducks crossing the road? Only time will tell.