NBA great and Miami Beach reserve police officer Shaquille O'Neal gave shoutouts to several South Florida police agencies, as well as Broward County sheriff Scott Israel, during a national television broadcast following game 5 of the Miami Heat/Indiana Pacers series Thursday night.
O'Neal, who is a commentator for TNT and a former Heat center, usurped the post-game show to name drop the Broward Sheriff's Office, Miami Beach police, Golden Beach police, along with Israel and other individual police officers he knew.
O'Neal was sworn in as a reserve police officer with the Miami Beach police department in December 2005. He had previously been a reserve police officer in Los Angeles.
The shoutouts to the police departments spurred from O'Neal's video analysis of a clash between the Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough and the Heat's Chris "Birdman" Andersen during the second quarter.
Beginning with the declaration that "detective O'Neal is on the case," Shaq pointed out during a video replay that the altercation was the result of mistaken identity, with Andersen shoving Hansbrough for incorrectly believing Hansbrough had walloped him from behind. The bump in fact came from Pacers forward Paul George.
As the TNT crew continues discussing the replay, O'Neal suddenly interrupts: "Can I give a shoutout?"
"Right in the middle of what we're doing here? Sure, whatever," replies a visibly annoyed Ernie Johnson.
"The reason why I called that," Shaq declares, "was because I was raised by chief Don DeLucca and Ray Martinez. That was great detective work right there. [...] I just wanted to tell them thank you for making me become a great detective."
The other commentators start to rib O'Neal, with Charles Barkley shouting, "You ain't never been no cop!"
O'Neal becomes upset, telling Barkley to "stop it, stop it" and that he has been to three police academies. O'Neal then looks straight at the camera and rolls along with his shoutouts: "Miami Beach, Golden Beach, Broward County sheriffs, Sheriff Israel -- what's up, baby? -- Sheriff Mike Brown in Virginia -- what's up, baby?"
As the crew continues the back and forth, the TNT control room airs a photo of O'Neal dressed in a fictional police uniform during the shooting of the Adam Sandler comedy 'Grown Ups 2,' in which O'Neal plays a police officer.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun