During last night’s TNT broadcast of Inside the NBA, the apparently geography-challenged Shaquille O’Neal referred to Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio as “The Italian Pete Maravich,” erroneously identifying Rubio’s homeland as Italia as opposed to Espana.
Mama mia! Hey, Shaq: you got paella all up in my pasta primavera, dude!
Shaq, being the savvy intellectual that he is — he isn’t referred to as “The Big Aristotle” for nothing (I guess) — instantly recognized his geographical gaffe and attempted to correct his misstating of Rubio’s heritage, but the fact that he uttered it in the first place was sufficient cause for his fellow panelists to hammer on him mercilessly and to do so with great glee. As they should have.
But to be fair to Shaq, it is live television and who among us, in the same situation, wouldn’t have the capability to make a similar kind of mistake? I mean, let’s be honest here: the European map has a bunch of countries all packed into such a small area and frankly, anyone can miss Spain, all tucked away down there.
[Grazie (or should it be gracias?), Sports Grid]