Obviously, Celtics Shaq isn't asked to be the same Shaq from the past 20 or so years, when the big man scored and averaged more than 20 points per game. By his own admission, the off-the-court Shaq is a very different man as well.
After scoring just two points in 16 minutes Tuesday night, a night when Kendrick Perkins played 25 minutes off the bench, O'Neal was rather candid in a conversation with Yahoo's Marc J. Spears.
"If I was on a [expletive] team, I'd be pissed right now," Shaq said. "Two points? I would have [expletive] somebody up in the locker room."
That, obviously, isn't happening this year, with O'Neal fitting in nicely with fellow superstar veterans Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
"It's hard not being in charge for me, it really is, but I got to accept it," O'Neal told Spears. "This is a good team. I'm not the only Hall-of-Famer hopeful here."
Shaq also said he doesn't mind coming off the bench as Perkins' backup and that he's not worried about hurting his legacy.
"When I had my time, my span, I did it my way. I did it dominant. Nobody has done it more flamboyantly," he told Yahoo. "And now, you know, it's someone else's turn. … It's all about winning, baby. Stats don't matter. None of that [expletive] matters to me. I've been there and done that."
Often, you hear athletes make empty statements in the preseason, claiming they won't have an ego or won't cause any problems. However, more than halfway through the season, and with the Celtics owning the second-best record in the league, Shaq is staying true to his word.