Upsetting
Thursday, September 12, 2002
 
My favorite player on the Lakers is Robert Horry, partly because of the unending frustration he would cause Chick during garbage time. Horry’d always be laughing with the refs, playing grab-ass with George McCloud and the brothers Barry as the Lakers were up by 30 midway through the fourth quarter.

“This is really Robert’s time,” Chick would say with no small amount of derision. “Robert excels in garbage time.”

And, of course, Chick hated garbage time because it’s everything that basketball’s not supposed to be.
Stu would just laugh.

My second-favorite player on the only professional sports team I root for might be Shaq, but I’m having to rethink that a little bit today.

Some time ago, I read along with the stories about the Big Fella getting deputized in L.A. and just figured it was another of his iconoclastic endeavors.
But today I read that Shaq’s actually become an honest-to-goodness, kick-down-the-door Cop, that some folks in Louisiana complained that Fella committed a couple of flagrant fouls during a “drug raid.”
A kid said that Shaq put his head in a toilet, punched him and choked him.

For years, I worked among cops, so it was no surprise to me that Shaq was cleared by his law-enforcement superiors.
Lemme know the last time the District Attorney ruled that an officer-involved shooting was not justified.

I’m not a teen-ager anymore, so I don’t "hate cops."
But I also know that before America fell in love with the boys in blue last fall, a man in a Brooklyn police station was sodomized by a police officer and his billy club.
That officer then paraded the offending nightstick around the precinct, boasting of breaking the man.

That cop was not Shaq, and that cop may not represent the majority of police officers.
But Shaq is a cop.
And that’s the way it is.

It’s one more thing that makes him different from you and me.
 
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