Shaq Isn’t the Godfather, He’s Hyman Roth

November 12th, 2009 by Chris Finocchio Leave a reply »
Shaq gave us one of sports’ greatest quotes when he compared himself to Vito Corleone, Penny Hardaway to Fredo, Kobe Bryant to Sonny, and Dwyane Wade to Michael.

Upon closer examination, Shaq is not comparable to Vito. He is Hyman Roth.

“Your father did business with Hyman Roth, your father respected Hyman Roth, but he never trusted Hyman Roth.”

Is there a better quote to describe how Kobe, Wade, or Phil Jackson thought about Shaq? Or Steve Nash? Ask him if he trusts Shaq after he stole his reality tv idea.

But the parallels run much deeper than trust. Both men formed their identities in similar ways. Shaq named himself after his favorite superhero, the Man of Steel. Roth named himself after his favorite mob hero, Arnold Rothstein, the man alleged to have fixed the World Series.

Is it a coincidence that Roth’s underlings, Johnny Ola and Fredo, go see a performer named Superman?

Both Shaq and Roth have huge divides between their public and private personas.

Shaq has worked hard to get the public to think of him as the jovial, goofy star who jokes with reporters, dances at All-Star games, and stars in ...

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