Shaquille O’Neal has no shortage of nicknames: Shaq. The Diesel. Wilt Chamberneezy. All the actor/rapper/police officer/Cavaliers center needs to do is change his name to a symbol and he’ll be the NBA’s version of Prince.
But that doesn’t mean he’ll let a nickname go without a fight.
Probably a little peeved at having to share the nickname with Clark Kent in the first place, Shaq, the “original” Man of Steel, was “offended” that Howard was being compared to him and being called “Superman,” according to ESPN.com.
“You tell me who the real Superman is,” he told the Web site.
Howard, who used the Superman alter-ego in his appearances in the 2008 and 2009 NBA dunk contests, was miffed by the former star of Kazaam and his beef over the super hero status.
“I don’t have any problems against him. The whole Superman thing, there’s no battle of nicknames. I mean, if he wants to be Superman, he can be Superman. But I never tried to steal that title from him or take away anything that he’s done for the game of basketball,” Howard said in an interview Sunday on TNT. “I would like, instead of people fighting over a nickname, for us to be able to talk about what it’s like to win a championship.”
The Big Baryshnikov managed to win three championships with the Lakers while he was involved in a power struggle with Kobe Bryant, but after having seen their “rivalry” nearly beaten to death by the media, the 37-year-old Shaqovic is done with the Black Mamba and may be looking for a new sparring partner. With Eastern Conference supremacy up for grabs, he looks to be turning his sights on Superman 2.0.