Very few Centers in the National Basketball Association (NBA) have ever dominated in the way that Shaquille (Shaq) O’Neal did during a career that spanned 19 years. During his time on the court, Shaq was an All Star 15 times and was on four NBA Championship teams, three of which were during his eight years playing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Two years ago the Lakers retired Shaq’s #34 jersey in honor of his achievements with the team. While this was an expected action by the Purple & Gold organization, it is generally not done until a player has been selected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Shaq was, last month, nominated to be inducted.
Recently, the NBA big-man, who can be quite the practical joker, received a fantastic surprise. In Shaq parlance, he got Shaq’d. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host orchestrated the event perfectly, a can be seen below, where the big man is told he is getting a statue outside of the Lakers’ Staples Center arena.
It was great to see Shaq so surprised. It is a well-deserved acknowledgment, done in an absolutely wonderful manner.
Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge adorn the cover of the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, as announced on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, marking yet another change for SI (a few others follow) as the previous six issues had been revealed on the Late Show with David Letterman. A large replica of the cover featuring the three lovely ladies was unveiled just prior to midnight. Jimmy did, however, goof, stating that it was the first time ever three women graced the cover. That did occur once prior, in 1994 (with Kathy Ireland, Rachel Hunter and Elle Macpherson).
Sports Illustrated launched its now internationally famous Swimsuit Issue back on January 20, 1964, though that inaugural issue was simply a five-page supplement within the magazine, featuring Babette March. The idea of swimsuits in winter took hold and the edition has become not only an annual event that has launched many models into super stardom but also one of the world’s largest selling single magazine issues, with sales typically topping more than one million copies.
Communication travels at lightning speed these days and there are times that surprises are not able to be kept as envisioned.
That has been the case during the past few years as leaks of SI photos have surfaced, some planned and some not. For 2014, SI began a teaser campaign on their website Swim Daily featuring 2013 Rookie of the Year Hannah Davis (below) showing off a selection from the Jersey Strong campaign, one of the slogans used as New Jersey continues to re-build after the devastation brought by Superstorm Sandy.
In actual fact, SI started posting “Mystery Model” photos of swimsuit ladies back in June 2013, shortly after starting work on the 2014 edition. These were cropped photos showing body and no face, to keep readers guessing and build even more interest. On February 5, SI began posting images of the dozen Rookies selected to appear in the mag, and on February 12, the never-aging Barbie (55-year-old Barbara Millicent Roberts) was announced as the first-ever Rookie Legend, making an appearance in a restyled version of her original 1959 one-piece swimsuit.
For some additional history concerning SI Swimsuit Issue models and statistics please see the 2013 post, featuring Kate Upton.
Congratulations to Chrissy, Nina and Lily on your accomplishment.
The magazine will be at newsstands on Tuesday, February 18.