Shaq Hasn't Panicked Since 1981 -- So He Claims

The amount of hilarious nonsense that comes from the mouth of former Phoenix Suns big man Shaquille O'Neal is only rivaled by that of another former Suns star: Charles Barkley.

Sir Charles is in the off-season from his gig as a TNT basketball commentator, so the general public hasn't been blessed with too many Barkley-isms as of late. But the "Big Shaqtus'" runaway mouth has no off-season, and it was on display in a recent interview he gave where he claims he hasn't panicked since 1981 -- when he was 9-years-old.

Shaq's pimping his upcoming reality TV show and had a little Q & A with the New York Times Magazine last week, where he made the claim.

On the show, Shaq Vs., the 7-foot-1, aging star squares off with other celebs in various competitions. For example, the show features a cook-off with Rachel Ray, golf against Charles Barkley, and some sort of contest with Justin Bieber -- perhaps a hunk-off.

In the midst of other hilarious banter, which you can see here, Shaq had the following exchange with NYTM writer Deborah Solomon:

When was the last time you panicked? 1981.

When you were 9?
We were living with relatives, and I just happened to steal a lighter from the kitchen counter. I had a teddy bear. My thing was to just light the tail and then blow it out and laugh. Ha, ha. But as soon as I lit the tail, the whole thing caught on fire. It almost caught the house on fire. I got the whooping of my life.

Shaq may have not panicked in nearly three decades, but Phoenix Suns fans panicked far more frequently when he was with the squad -- like, every time he went to the foul line in the fourth quarter.

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James King
Contact: James King