A friend just pointed out a little question-and-answer interview that the New York TImes published over the weekend with Shaquille O'Neal.
This is unintentionally funny stuff.
The recently retired (as a basketball player) future Hall of Famer was the recent subject of a twisted little tale we called Shaqzilla.
In part, it described how O'Neal somehow had become a fully sworn Tempe police detective during part of his stint with the Phoenix Suns a few years ago, and how he may have used his connections with the local cops to try to get dirt on a creepy crawler who'd been working for him as a computer technician.
An anecdote in the story tells you all you need to know about O'Neal the Cop:
"O'Neal also found time to become a reserve deputy for the Bedford County Sheriff's Office in central Virginia. Life in the rural county, dotted with tobacco farms, is far removed from that in Miami and Los Angeles.
In August 2006, a caravan of police in SWAT gear swooped down onto A.J. Nuckols' pumpkin farm there, including the largest man that the father of three had ever seen up close.
News accounts said Nuckols claimed that the cops shoved him up against his Ford truck and told him he was suspected of possessing child porn.
According to Nuckols' account, Shaquille O'Neal reached into Nuckols' pickup and yanked a rifle off the rack.
"We've got a gun!" he boomed.
"Are you Shaquille O'Neal?" Nuckols asked him.
"No," the self-described master of surveillance replied. "My name's Tony."
As it turns out, Nuckols was innocent.
The Bedford County sheriff later said his anti-child-porn unit had erred while tracing a computer address and sent the SWAT team to the wrong location."
We are fully aware of puff pieces and softball Q&A's and all that, having participated in one or two of them over our long and not-so-storied career.
But, come on...Not even a teeny-weeny follow-up question?