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Shaq’s 2004 Miami Police Application: An In-Depth Investigation by Sports of Boston

Shaquille O'Neal was quite the character throughout his NBA career, including when he applied to the Miami Beach police force in 2004.  (Photo courtesy of

The Miami New Times published a story last Wednesday detailing Shaquille O’Neal’s 2004 application to join the Miami Beach Police Force. It’s about time.

Why should anything about one of the league’s most gregarious and hilarious superstars be hidden from the public eye? Boston Celtics fans only got a brief glimpse of that disarming smile and those menacing muscles before injuries and retirement stole the Big Shamrock away from us. Bostonians have the right to know what would have made Shaq such an enticing candidate to join the local police department (like everywhere else he goes).

So Sports of Boston pulled out all the stops, went behind the scenes, and dove into the heart of Shaq’s application for an in-depth investigation into just what the Boston police could have expected and what they will be missing with Shaq’s retirement.

-In the section of the application regarding his special skills with equipment, Shaq listed “laptop computer” and “binnochulars” (he majored in General Studies at LSU, not English, so cut Shaq some slack). Yes, Shaq is particularly proficient at using a personal computer and holding a pair of magnifying glasses up to his eyes. With these unique skills, Shaq is one “master of surveillance.”

-Accordingly, when asked what his primary occupation had been, Shaq answered, “Grand Theft Auto Investigations.” I knew professional athletes played a lot of video games in their spare time, but I didn’t know they took it so seriously.

-For his, ahem, various jobs over the ten years before arriving in Miami, Shaq did end up listing “NBA Center” for the Los Angeles Lakers as a full time position from 1996-2004. His duties? “Everything.” Just as we Celtics fans suspected – Kobe Bryant didn’t do anything on those 2000-02 Lakers teams that brought home the hardware. So really, Bryant only has two legitimate rings, and we can forever stop this inane discussion that he’s even close to the same class as MJ. (Seriously.)

-I’m not sure if something has changed since Shaq entered retirement and had to pay closer attention to managing his finances. In 2004, though, the Big AARP checked off that he had no savings account, no checking account, no investments, and no vehicles to his name. For a man who earned almost $300 million over his 19 year career, that is one massive sack of cash stuffed in one of his mattresses.

-My personal favorite moment from his application: When asked, “What is the best memory you have in your life to this point?” O’Neal responded, “All dreams have come true.” Read that again. “All dreams have come true.” That’s amazing! Imagine your whole, entire life being your best memory because, again, all your dreams have come true! I guess winning four NBA championships and earning hundreds of millions of dollars qualifies as realizing “all dreams.”

-Prepare yourselves, though, because here’s where Shaq became reflective, looking into his soul to reveal his innermost secrets. Secrets so deep, so dark, so traumatizing that he had no choice – he just had to refer to himself in the third person. His worst memory? “Messing up so much that he thought his parents didn’t love him.” Apparently it’s not all sports cars, pranks, and scantily clad women in the life of Shaquille O’Neal.

-His weakest qualities or personality traits that need improvement to be an effective police officer? “Don’t express myself when he feels he should. His father was a drill Sgt. who taught him to keep everything in.” I think Shaq could have used some counseling. In addition to diagnosing Shaq’s multiple personality disorder that caused him to view himself as an “I” and a “he” simultaneously, I think a counselor really could have helped Shaq and Kobe work through some of their relationship issues. A little psychotherapy for Shaq to work through his daddy issues, and some healthier ways for Kobe to vent his sexual frustration.

-Shaq defines deadly force as “red, yellow, green.” When he goes on to say he would be willing to use deadly force against another person, I can only assume Shaq means he would love to be able to play “Red Light, Green Light” against someone other than his alter egos Diesel, Superman, and The Big Aristotle.

So, in summary, what did our investigation uncover regarding the skills and qualifications Shaq would have brought to the Boston PD (well, besides the obvious PR stunt, and the fact that it’s difficult to refuse a 7’1”, 325 pound professional athlete)? Apparently, his “temporary employment [was] required” because Shaq was “bringing unique skill to the agency.” Personally, I think that unique skill was Shaq’s ability to turn into a hip-hop genie who resides in a boombox. Boston is really going to miss having Kazaam as a member of its police department.

Plus, he got a rock solid recommendation from Gloria Estefan, the preeminent expert on police force qualifications. Case closed.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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