Want to know how to get under Shaquille O'Neal's skin? Going on television and saying he's never worked as hard as Kobe Bryant is a good start.
That's what Jim Rome did this week, setting off a Twitter war for all to see.
"You never fully committed to conditioning or taking care of your body. Or learning how to defend a pick and roll. Or shooting your throws," Rome said. "You never approached the game with the dedication and discipline of Kobe Bryant. … Being a celebrity and entertainer was as important as being a champion."
Shaq, the most celebrated athlete to use Twitter, did not appreciate that. He wrote:
"Jim rome, I am happy with my career and the legacy that I have left behind,obviously u r not happy wit yur legacy I 4got u have no legacy"
The 7-foot-1, 325-pound O'Neal then challenged Rome to a boxing match:
"And forget the back and forth jim rome, I challenge u to a boxing match, live at espn studios, show the world if u can bak up the tuff talk … If u wanna see shaq box jim rome live on espn. I do if he wins ill donate my salary to a charity of his choice"
After he got no response, Shaq busted out the schoolyard taunts:
"Dats what I thought jim rome dats what I thought…..I knew, we knew it bock bock bock bock tuk yur feathers n lol"
Rome finally repsonded:
"For 8 mill, maybe, but I'm not getting my face caved in for the veteran's minimum. & you are a little out of my weight class. … Really? You're getting hooked and want to fight a guy with no legacy. You're better than that. Thx 4 checking in. Bn 2 long."
Shaq wasn't done, though, as he busted out the YouTube classic of Jim Everett flipping his lid and attacking Rome back in the early days of ESPN2. Needless to say, Rome doesn't like watching that video:
"You just threw the Everett card? So tired. So easy. So boring. What happened to you? Where's the Big Aristotle? Or MDE?"
The fight then fizzled, unfortunately, but there's always a chance it could be reignited. And they say Twitter isn't good for anything? This is some high-quality entertainment.